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  • BWF and Special Olympics Launch Long-term Partnership


    BWF and Special Olympic International MoU Signing (BWF/James Varghese)
    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Today, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Special Olympics International (SOI) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase the growth, quality and frequency of badminton participation around the world.

    The shared aim is to ensure that all Special Olympics badminton players realise the positive mental, physical and social health benefits of sport.

    BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer and Special Olympics Senior Vice President of Sport and Health, Drew Boshell, undertook the signing.

    Høyer said the landmark agreement aligns with the federation’s commitment of providing high quality sporting experiences and opportunities for all.

    “It is with great pleasure that I announce that BWF and Special Olympics International have joined forces as part of a greater effort to grow the sport of badminton,” he said.

    “In line with our motto that badminton is a sport for all, we are committed to providing avenues of participation for everyone.

    “What we have seen here this week in Abu Dhabi is an amazing platform that allows people of great spirit to show the world what they can do.

    “This partnership will hopefully foster the establishment of more platforms to allow children and adults with intellectual disabilities to experience badminton all the time.”

    Chairman of Special Olympics, Dr. Timothy Shriver, echoed Høyer’s thoughts saying the shared common values of both organisations lent itself to a long-term cooperation.

    "Special Olympics is excited to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Badminton World Federation,” he said.

    "Our shared vision enables us to create additional opportunities for our athletes to learn about badminton and to experience the joy of the sport."

    The partnership will see:

    --SOI recognise BWF as an official international partner

    --BWF provide high quality training opportunities, where appropriate to identified Special Olympics personnel

    --SOI endorse BWF Shuttle Time and its Coach Education programmes as an example of best practice in supporting the growth and development of badminton as an inclusive sport for all; and

    --BWF facilitate the delivery of a safe, fun and positive experience of badminton

    President Høyer concluded: “As a federation, we are so excited to be here in Abu Dhabi as part of this great celebration, and I sincerely thank Dr. Tim Shriver, Drew Boshell and the team for their leadership, dedication and support of the Special Olympics movement.

    “These are exciting times and we look forward to this new relationship evolving in the coming years.”

    The announcement came at the conclusion of a fantastic week of badminton at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, with 150 badminton players from 58 countries participating.



    Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Microsoft, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at

    The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing body of the sport of badminton, recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). It was originally the International Badminton Federation (IBF) which was founded on 5 July, 1934, before being rechristened the Badminton World Federation in 2006.

    The purpose and objectives of BWF include regulating, promoting, developing and popularising the sport of badminton throughout the world and organising, conducting and presenting international events at the highest level.

    The BWF’s vision is to make badminton a leading global sport accessible to all – giving every child a chance to play for life. Its mission is to lead and inspire all stakeholders; to deliver entertainment through exciting events to drive fan experience; and to create innovative, impactful and sustainable development initiatives.

    BWF has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with 189 Member Associations worldwide.

    Poul-Erik Høyer is the BWF President and Thomas Lund is the BWF Secretary General.

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