Last weekend, Malta was the centre of the European Badminton family as it hosted the 2022 Badminton Europe congress at the Excelsior Hotel in Floriana.
This event is the first one that was organised after another two which were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this congress, Malta hosted more than 100 delegates from all the European countries in this annual event.
In the first day, the Badminton Europe Members’ Forum took place where all the delegates were present to network, discuss ideas, participate in workshops on different aspects of administration and plan collaborations between different countries.
In the second day of the congress, Badminton Europe held its Annual Delegates meeting in the morning.
Elections for directors in the Board of Directors were held and votes for changes in the Badminton Europe rulebook were taken. Reports and accounts were presented and approved during the meeting.
In the afternoon the delegates had the opportunity to visit some of the Maltese attractions and were given the chance to appreciate the beautiful architecture and history that the Maltese islands offer.
In the evening, it was time for the Gala Awards ceremony where Badminton Europe recognises its top athletes, junior athletes and officials.
During this event, Viktor Axelsen, gold medallist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and holder of several prestigious achievements, was recognised as the male player of the year.
Spanish singles player Carolina Marin was crowned as best female player of the year. Amongst other awards, Camilla Martin was included in the Badminton Europe Hall of Fame for her achievements. Martin has won both the All England and World Championship Singles titles and achieved the silver medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
At the end of the gala event, Baku, Azerbaijan was announced as the next host for the 2023 Badminton Europe congress.
A warm ‘Merħba’ from Malta
President of Badminton Malta, Owen Grech, was delighted to have the BEC Congress in his country and sends his warm welcome (merħba) to all guests.
“It was really nice to meet everyone face to face and not through a screen. It is a privilege to have everyone in European badminton come to Malta. It is the first time that we have organised an event like this with Badminton Europe.
“It all went well, everyone enjoyed themselves and we had a lot of positive feedback. A lot of ideas were exchanged and this was another step forward towards the direction that we are wanting to go and of course, it has strengthened our relationship with Badminton Europe, Owen Grech said.
Three years and finally we are meeting again
Due to the pandemic, three years have passed in a blink of an eye since the last BEC Congress in Kyiv, Ukraine. Badminton Europe President, Peter Tarcala, shared his happiness in finally coming together again.
“I am really happy that after three years we can meet again. There is a very different feel to what it has been through our screens in recent times. I am looking forward to the weekend ahead, hearing from the speakers and building ideas for the future of our sport, generating new projects and initiatives.”
The Members Forum will take place throughout Friday, with the Annual Delegates’ Meeting on Saturday morning, ending with the Gala Awards Ceremony in the evening.
Badminton Malta has also launched the first sanctioned circuit tournament to be organised in Malta which is the Malta Future series – presented by VICTOR, which will be held this December and is expected to attract players from all over the world to play badminton in our island.