Photo by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe: BEC President Gregory Verpoorten cutting the cake at Members' Forum.
50th Anniversary of Badminton Europe celebrated this weekend
Date: 4/4/2017 3:33 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
During the BEC Congress of 2017, three board members were elected at the Annual Delegates' Meeting, and Badminton Europe celebrated its' 50th Anniversary in style. 

The BEC Congress usually consists of a Members’ Forum, Annual Delegates’ Meeting and BEC Awards Gala, but this year the 50th anniversary of the confederation was included in the programme for the weekend.

From March 31-April 2, Badminton Europe had once again invited all their Member Associations for the 50th Annual Delegates’ Meeting, and a total of 46 countries participated at the events at Orea Hotel Pyramida, in Prague, Czech Republic. 

“I don’t think we have ever had 46 Member Associations present, so we are delighted about that. It means that our Member Associations are interested in our work, it means that we make a difference for our members and that they are re-engaged. And all of that in a very amicable atmosphere, so I am very happy about that”, says BEC President Gregory Verpoorten. 

Members’ Forum
The conference hall at Orea Hotel Pyramida, was set-up for the Member’s Forum which began at 9 AM Friday 31 March. This year, Badminton Europe made it possible for everyone to watch the forum live on BE.TV. This way not only for the participating Members, but everyone with an interest in European badminton had the opportunity to learn from the Forum. The broadcast is still available for those who missed it on Badminton Europe’s YouTube here.

Badminton Europe staff and Directors had prepared 10 presentations which reflected the work of the commissions.

Member Structures: “Member Associations Analysis” and “MA Support – BASIS Programme”, presented by commission chair Emma Mason and General Secretary Brian Agerbak.
Para-Badminton: “Para-Badminton Activities” and “BWF Updates”, presented by BEC Vice-President and commission chair Joâo Matos.
Major Events: “Future of European Clubs Championships” and “Technical Officials Education”, presented by BEC Senior Manager Jimmy Andersen.
Sport for All: “Summer School”, presented by Commission chair Jean-Marc Serfaty and BEC Manager Jeroen van Dijk.
Women in Badminton: “Gender Equality and ‘Badminton for Women’ Award”, presented by commission chair Klavs Andreassen. 
High Performance: “BEC Centre of Excellence - Europe’s New Training Centre”, presented by BEC Manager Jeroen van Dijk, Stenhus gymnasium Principal Per Farbøl and board member from Holbæk SportsCentre Carsten Damgaard. 
Fan Base: “Why Social Media?”, presented by BEC Junior Manager Emma Lollike and journalist/photographer for BEC Mark Phelan. 

After the last presentation, an hour was scheduled for the delegates to network while getting refreshments before a Q&A session finished off the forum. 

The delegates could enjoy a beautiful sunset from the river Vltava, where dinner was organized on a 2-hour boat ride. 

50th Annual Delegates’ Meeting (ADM)

Saturday 1 April, Delegates’ registered for the meeting from 9-10 AM where they all received a goodie bag with a special 50th anniversary booklet, special anniversary pins, including an exclusive anniversary racket and shuttles from YONEX.

The meeting could begin as planned at 10 AM with opening remarks by BEC President Gregory Verpoorten. Brian Agerbak then took the rostrum to inform his members of the office matters, which this last year has welcomed Junior Managers, Emma Lollike (Communication), Pavel Florian (Circuits and Events), Hugo Mussou (Development) and finance officer Oliver Gravers. 

The annual report of 2016 was then reviewed and presented by each commission chair, to give the delegates’ an opportunity for unravelling questions and comments regarding the topics in each commission. 

An election was conducted to elect new Directors to join the current BEC Board of Directors during this years´ ADM. While the votes were being counted, the coming European Championships organizers presented videos to the room; 2017 European Championships in Kolding (Denmark), 2017 European Junior Championships in Mulhouse (France), and finally, Spain was announced as hosts for the 2018 European Championships. 

Murat Özmekik was re-elected as Vice President until 2018 and the Directors elected to the BEC Board were the following:
Richard Vaughan (Wales) – until 2021
Andrej Pohar (Slovenia) – until 2021
Robbert de Kock (Switzerland) – until 2018

The meeting ended with a surprise for the delegates as a grand four-layer cake decorated with Badminton Europe’s 50th anniversary logo in black and gold frosting, was carried to the stage. On signal, golden confetti was fired when President Gregory Verpoorten started to cut the cake.

5th BEC Awards Gala
The evening began at 6 PM Saturday evening with a video which reviewed the year of European badminton in 2016. Close to 180 invited guests gathered for the 5th BEC Awards Gala, when Gregory Verpoorten, BEC President, took the stage to welcome all and make a tribute to the first member of BEC Hall of Fame, Erland kops, who recently passed away. 

Gail Emms, former top-player, hosted the event and gracefully guided the dinning guests through the evening and its’ awards.

Awards winners:
BEC European Para-badminton Player of the Year 2016: Lucas Mazur (France)
BEC Women in Badminton Award 2016: Lotka Lubin (Poland)
BEC Coach of the Year 2016: Kenneth Jonassen & Lars Uhre (Denmark)
BEC Technical Official of the Year 2016: Mojmir Hnilica (Czech Republic)
BEC Senior Player of the Year 2016: Christine Black (Scotland)
BEC European Young Player of the Year 2016: Toma Junior Popov (France)
BEC European Female Player of the Year 2016: Carolina Marin (Spain)
BEC European Male Player of the Year 2016: Danish Men’s Team (Denmark)
President’s Medal of the Year 2016: Irene Delvai (Switzerland)
Honorary Vice President of the Year 2016: Josef R. Benes (Czech Republic)
BEC Hall of Fame: Nora Perry, MBE (England)

As an end to the official part of the evening, Dubrovnik (Croatia) was announced as hosts for the BEC Congress in 2018. 

“I am pleased to have all of you guys, such wonderful people, next year in Dubrovnik. It is a great city and you are most welcome. Thank you to the Board of Directors for choosing us to have this opportunity to be a host for such wonderful people. Thank you so much and see you all next year in 2018 in Dubrovnik.”, said President of Croatian Badminton Association Ratko Galjer.

Watch the full Gala Evening on BE.TV by clicking here

Find photo album on Facebook from the ADM here
Photos by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe
© All rights reserved.

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