The countdown to one of the biggest global sporting events is well and truly on as we enter the year of the TOTAL BWF World Badminton Championships 2017.
To mark the occasion, one of Scotland’s best female athletes was unveiled as the third official ambassador for the World Championships which will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.
Catriona Matthew MBE represented Team GB in golf at last year’s Rio Olympic Games and is the 2009 British Open champion. She is also serving as Europe’s Vice Captain in the 2017 Solheim Cup in Des Moines, Iowa and, with the 2019 edition of the Solheim Cup set for Gleneagles, all eyes will be on Scotland’s most successful female golfer. As ambassador for the TOTAL BWF World Badminton Championships, she gave more than 100 local schoolchildren a real treat when she dropped in to The Shuttle Time Big Hit festival at Meadowmill Sports Centre in Tranent on 18 January.
The Shuttle Time Big Hit festivals will play a significant role in the build-up to the Worlds and will be a key part of BADMINTONscotland’s development programme, with the aim of getting thousands of schoolchildren taking up the sport to create a sustainable legacy from the TOTAL BWF World Badminton Championships. BWF congratulated BADMINTONscotland for their “proactive and innovative approach” in introducing youngsters to the sport and held up “the concept of combining development activities alongside major events” as an example for other tournament organisers to follow.
Catriona, the first woman to be included in Scotland’s Golf Hall of Fame, said: “It was marvellous to see first-hand the enthusiasm the children showed at this latest Shuttle Time Big Hit Festival. It’s fantastic that BADMINTONscotland are getting them involved at such a young age.”
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said: “It is great to have Catriona, one of this country’s finest golfers, joining the fantastic team of ambassadors for this year’s Badminton World Championships.
“As we’ve shown in recent years, Scotland is the perfect stage for sporting events, and EventScotland is proud to be supporting the Total BWF Badminton World Championships that will see the world’s finest athletes descend on Glasgow this August.”
Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “We are relishing the chance to take the Big Hit Festivals to a new level during the World Championships.
“We expect to introduce 5,000 schoolchildren to the sport during the 21 sessions earmarked at the Championships but, on top of that, it gives us the chance to train young volunteer sports leaders from our partner schools so they can help run the sessions under the guidance of our established coaches.
“Just as important, and running in tandem with the Festivals, we will provide a career-long professional learning (CLPL) training course to teaching staff who accompany their children.
“It isn’t just about getting the youngsters playing badminton but also equipping the older pupils and their teachers with the means to sustain the Legacy for years to come."
The TOTAL BWF World Badminton Championships 2017 are being delivered in partnership with Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council, with support from EventScotland and UK Sport.
Tickets and general information are available at glasgow2017.com.