BWF Webinar – Questions & Answers 5 June 2020

The BWF hosted its first webinar on Friday 5 June with 175 participants from 123 Member Associations and 5 Continental Confederations. The webinar presented two topics.

  1. Getting Back to Badminton after Covid-19
  2. Steps towards the Virtual AGM


Below are the questions participants submitted together with the answers to these.

During a normal AGM meeting the Chair reports and Council proposals will only be presented in detail and discussed during the day of the meeting. In this case the amendments and further clarification are presented well in advance of the actual meeting for the BWF Members and AGM Delegates to have a better possibility to familiarize themselves with the reports and the proposals. Amendments to proposals do not usually relate to the Chairs Reports – but to the proposals on the agenda which Members or Council have put forward for a decision in the materials distributed in advance of the meeting.

The Chairs reports are usually given at the AGM itself where each Committee Chair makes a verbal presentation based on the Committee report in the Annual Report (linked here) which is distributed to the membership three months before the AGM. Committee reports can be viewed from page 16 of the Annual Report (linked here).

The BWF will send to hosts in June, guidelines that they can follow as they prepare for their international competition taking into account the Covid-19 situation. Hosts will however also need to follow advice from their local health authorities and look at the local situation in their country / city.

BWF is preparing guidelines for event hosts. Each country will be different in how it will host an international badminton competition. BWF will see what additional measures are needed to be put in place for individual tournaments, and what additional costs there could be for hosts. The BWF will then look at each situation and determine if there needs to be some additional support.

The BWF partners appreciate the current world situation and the restrictions on travel and world sport. All our partners therefore continue to support BWF and the sport of badminton. It is however at the same time important that BWF and all our hosts work in a serious way to seek to create a return of international badminton tournaments to ensure we again can provide value to our sponsorship and broadcast partners – which will also benefit the general exposure of badminton around the world.

The pandemic is affecting different parts of the world in a different way as it spreads around the globe. Many countries are now starting to open up, and the speed of this getting back to a ‘new normal’ will vary. International travel has started again in some regions, and this will continue to open up.

Generally, BWF and the hosts will start up international competitions when it is safe and reasonable to do so. This may not be with all international players being able to participate in the first tournaments due to domestic or regional restrictions, but the importance of getting started will longer term benefit all players as we would avoid more significant adverse financial effects on the tournament structures by getting started as soon as reasonably possible. Our hope is that by September / October, the global situation will be such that travel to international competitions is a possibility for many players, but there is of course a risk that some players cannot leave their country because Covid-19 has closed the borders and governments are continuing the lockdowns in a national level.

BWF is not providing any financial support for individual athletes who have not been able to return home during the Covid-19 situation. This is the responsibility of the national badminton organisations as they are best to advise on the situation in their own country, and any travel conditions for returning home.

BWF appreciates that this pandemic has been a major challenge for most countries, and lockdowns have prevented athletes from training and competing. BWF has not at this time created specific financial support programs to assist individual Member Associations to recover from the situation in their country. BWF is however providing advise and will support in the best way possible, where we advise that our Members should approach the national funding bodies to seek assistance on getting back to badminton at a national level.

Visa’s for travel are provided by the national authorities in each country. Occasionally BWF is asked to assist where there have been some challenges with visas and access for specific countries and players.

Where required, BWF will continue to work with hosts to facilitate the visa application process. However BWF does not have any direct influence on how countries open up their borders when the Covid-19 situation improves, but where possible BWF will engage with the National Associations to seek to establish the best possible solution for badminton players to be able to access the various countries to participate in international tournaments.

Each country will need to follow the national guidelines as the government starts to assess the situation.

It is expected that governments will slowly phase out many restrictions, so it is too early to say exactly which restrictions will be in place by September/October where international tournaments are planned to resume. BWF is monitoring closely the situation in each country, however Members should keep the BWF Events Department fully informed of a changing situation related to a BWF sanctioned competition in their country.

The BWF Development Department is working closely with Members and the relevant Continental Confederation on the Membership Grants Programme. This is not specifically related to Covid-19, but it is a new grants programme this year that will help Members with the implementation of AirBadminton, Shuttle Time, Coach Education, Administrator courses and other services accessible for Members. More information can be requested through the relevant Continental Confederations or the BWF Development Department.