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Special Olympics and Badminton World Federation Launch Long-Term Partnership

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – March 18, 2019: Special Olympics and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announce a long-term partnership and commitment to developing a cooperative plan to increase inclusion and accessibility for more athletes. The new alliance will also create growth opportunities and enhance the participation in badminton events throughout the world. The announcement comes during Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where 150 badminton athletes from 58 countries are competing.

Special Olympics and the BWF share a commitment to inclusive sports by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that:

  • Recognizes the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as a Special Olympics International Partner.
  • Ensures BWF will provide high quality training opportunities for Special Olympics athletes, coaches, and staff.
  • Identifies best practices supporting the growth and development of badminton as an inclusive sport for all through the BWF Shuttle Time and Coach Education programs.
  • Facilitates the delivery of a safe, fun, and positive experience through badminton.

"Special Olympics is excited to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Badminton World Federation," said Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics, "Our shared vision enables us to create additional opportunities for our athletes to learn about badminton and to experience the joy of the sport."

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said the landmark agreement aligns with the federation’s commitment to provide high quality sporting experiences and opportunities for all.

"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.”

Wang Yihan on the left and Peter Gade on the right; both in action poses going for the birdy with their rackets. .jpg



About BWF

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing body of the sport of badminton, recognized 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 popularizing the sport of badminton throughout the world and organizing, 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.

Websites: and

About Special Olympics

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 190 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

Media Contact

Jill Hammergren
Special Olympics
+1 (919) 805-1061

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