The Badminton World Federation (BWF) today announced the new dates for the BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships 2020, which were scheduled to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in September this year.
The rescheduled dates for the world event are 11-24 January 2021. Only those athletes eligible for the originally scheduled championships will be allowed to enter.
The new time frame gives the BWF, Badminton New Zealand and tournament organisers the best chance to stage a successful event for the large volume of junior players expected to travel to Auckland.
- BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships (11-16 Jan)
- BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships (18-24 Jan)
Chair of the BWF World Junior Championships Organising Committee, Nigel Skelt said:
“It was a tough decision to postpone the BWF World Junior Championships, but all parties agreed that the decision is in the best interests of everyone involved. We remain very confident that the rescheduled championships will be a huge success”
“We are extremely excited to welcome the world’s most up and coming junior talent to New Zealand at the beginning of next year and showcase our global sport”
Talking about the tournament’s postponement impact on our Member Associations, Badminton Oceania Secretary General/CEO, Julie Carrel said:
“Whilst it is a shame to see the BWF World Junior Championships 2020 rescheduled, we completely support and understand the decision as the safety and health of all involved is paramount”
“This year’s event was a pivotal part of our Player Development Programme for our Pacific Members; we were on track to have at least 7 of our Member Countries, including New Zealand and Australia, play in the event. The World Junior Championships last came to our region 13 years ago; outside of New Zealand and Australia who regularly play in the event, Tahiti are the only other Member to have supported players to play in this prestigious event – so this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the current players from the Pacific to play in a world championships close to home”
“In recent years, our Pacific juniors have made significant progress with players attending multiple development camps and tournaments with a handful medalling at the AIMS Games in New Zealand and the Samoa Pacific Games in 2019”
“With the change in date of the BWF World Junior Championships we are presented with a number of opportunities and challenges regarding the VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships which are a key event for us. The plan was to hold a player development camp aligned with the Oceania Junior Championships (team and individual events); currently on the calendar for early February 2021. These championships are also held at the same time in the same venue as the open event (team and individual events); the benefit of this one big event was evident when last held in Melbourne in 2019. However, with the World Junior Championships now being rescheduled we have a number of options available to us, as the potential of our Members attending both events within a month of each other is more complex given the resources available. We will work through the options in consultation with our Members to ensure the best outcome for the players and our player development programme”
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said:
“With all things considered, we believe the move is the best option in order to avoid any possible complexities linked to travel and other lingering COVID-19-related impacts.
“We look forward to working with Badminton New Zealand to put on a great show in Auckland.”
Badminton New Zealand Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock is still confident that players and supporters will have an unforgettable experience when the event eventually takes place.
“At the moment, the uncertainty of the global situation is challenging but we will work closely with the BWF and our event partners on plans for a rescheduled event. And we fully understand that we are guided by New Zealand Government regulations and international border control measures,” Hitchcock said.
“When the time is right, we will welcome the world’s best young badminton talent to Auckland because we know that teams travelling to New Zealand will have the experience of a lifetime, and the event with leave a lasting positive legacy.”