Badminton is heading down under as Australia prepares to host the 2017 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Sudirman Cup for the first time in the event’s 25-year history.
In an historic move, the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia will be the first city outside of Europe or Asia to host the prestigious badminton tournament.
The international competition will serve as a prelude to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and provide a tourism boost for the state with more than 1,500 competitors from 45 countries set to travel to Queensland to contest the title.
CEO Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) Leanne Coddington said all eyes were on Queensland following the final of the 2015 tournament in Guangdong on Sunday, with the Sunshine State the ideal ‘play and stay’ host destination for the 2017 BWF Sudirman Cup.
Aussie badminton stars join Surf Life Savers for a friendly game on the beach
“The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s premier holiday destinations – famous for its beaches, surf, theme parks, shopping, nightlife and sub-tropical rainforest,” said Ms Coddington.
“Players and spectators will be greeted with a warm Queensland welcome from a passionate sporting nation eager to see who will take out the Sudirman Cup for the first time on Australian soil.
Deputy Mayor Donna Gates said the Gold Coast was quickly developing a reputation as a vibrant events region.
“City of Gold Coast has been working hard to bring more major events to the Gold Coast and the securing of the 2017 BWF Sudirman Cup is a significant win for the city.
Badminton comes to the beach – Wesley Caulkett & Wendy Chen at Surfers Paradise
“In addition to the $10 million the event will inject into the Queensland economy, it will be screened to a television audience of half a billion people – this is extraordinary and valuable exposure for our city,” Ms Gates said.
Following the most recent Sudirman Cup in Dongguan (Guangdong, China), Badminton Australia CEO Paul Brettell said as the host country Australia was set to field a strong local contingent in two years’ time.
“Matthew Chau and Sawan Serasinghe were stand-out competitors during the most recent Sudirman Cup while there are plenty more stars rising through ranks including Gold Coast local and 2016 Olympic hopeful, Wendy Chen who is the current number one women’s player in Queensland.
Wesley Caulkett & Wendy Chen diving for the shuttlecock
“It is a fantastic time for Badminton in Australia with 40 world ranked players and social participation increasing more than fifty per cent annually across the country. We’re looking forward to seeing this grow in the coming years” said Mr Brettell.
The tournament will be held at the brand new state-of-the-art Gold Coast Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre from 21-28 May 2017.