The Badminton World Federation’s innovative voting system has been recognised in this year’s prestigious Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award in Dubai.
Competing in the eighth edition of the award, badminton’s world-governing body has been announced winner of the International Category – Corporate Sports Creativity (International Federation of the Year Award).
BWF’s successful submission detailed its unique voting system, started in 2012, in which an objective and transparent method is used to determine voting strength, which rewards each member association for its engagement in international badminton and their contributions towards the development of the sport globally.
The system has been referenced by sports governance experts as “an inspiring case of change” and as a “democratic governance system…(which) offers an interesting opportunity for sport leaders across the world to rethink sport democratisation, as they start modernising their governance standards to get fit for purpose in the 21st century”.
Reacting to the news, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer hailed the achievement as one “which will spur us in BWF to continue stretching our imagination and creativity as we seek not only to enhance our sport and the global badminton environment, but also to contribute to the international sporting landscape in any way possible”.
“We are pleased with how our voting system has evolved and the manner in which it has been embraced by our membership as well as by others in the sporting fraternity. This award is further validation of its merit,” he said.
The award, which is accompanied by a US$250,000 prize, will be presented to the BWF at a ceremony on Monday 9 January, 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. BWF will be honoured along with winners in other categories of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award, including the British Paralympic Association which won the International Paralympic Federation of the Year Award.
Only the top eight ranked players in the Destination Dubai rankings qualify for the event, and the Olympic silver medalist seemed out of the running when only ranked 16 with two events remaining in the BWF World Superseries qualifying calendar.
But 21-year-old Sindhu reproduced the form which took her to the Olympic podium, winning her first Superseries title in the Thaihot China Open last week, and finishing runner-up in the Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open on Sunday.
A delighted Sindhu said “It’s an honour to play in Dubai. It’s an event that I have always wanted to qualify for. My form is good and hopefully it will continue in Dubai. I’m happy that I did well the last two weeks. I’m a bit upset I didn’t win Hong Kong, but Tai played better than me.”
It was a bittersweet moment for India though as former world number one Saina Nehwal fell at the last hurdle in her attempt to come back from injury in time to qualify for Dubai. Having undergone knee surgery for an injury sustained during the Olympics, Nehwal had hoped to have enough points in reserve from good performances earlier in the year to keep her in the top eight, but her loss in the quarter finals in Hong Kong saw her surrender her place to Sindhu, finishing in ninth place.
Sindhu will face a star-studded field in the women’s singes, being joined by Olympic gold medallist Spain’s Carolina Marin and 2014 Superseries winner Tai Tzu Ying.
Tickets for the Dubai World Superseries Finals are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae. Prices start from AED 25, with those under 18 years entering for free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
As a result, Total is now an official sponsor of the Dubai World Superseries Finals – the badminton season finale tournament, until the end of 2017. As the official energy partner, Total is committed to providing strong support in all activities and promotion for the Finals.
Total and BWF first announced their landmark partnership in 2015 which will continue until 2018 with Total being title sponsor for all BWF Major Events and a partner of the MetLife BWF World Superseries in China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia until 2017.
“I am pleased, on behalf of the BWF, to welcome Total as a partner for the Dubai World Superseries Finals,” stated BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.
“As the season finale of the MetLife BWF World Superseries, this prestigious tournament brings together badminton’s best performers and some of our most celebrated stars. In this Olympic year, we are also guaranteed to witness the Rio 2016 champions among those vying for a share of the lucrative jackpot.”
In its continued effort to expand its branding activities outside the motorsports arena, Total sees common characteristics between its key products and badminton – powerful performance, technologically advanced precision, and especially endurance.