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  1. #1
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    Default [15 December 2003 ] For Immediate Release

    ANNE SMILLIE, chief executive of BADMINTONscotland, left for Kuala Lumpur today (Monday) hoping to impress on the sport's powerbrokers that Scotland are ready for new challenges.

    It will be Smillie's first big meeting since her election to the International Badminton Federation's Council at the world championships in Birmingham in July and it will be a crucial meeting amid controversial plans to move the IBF headquarters from its original home in Cheltenham to Singapore.

    Smillie's concerns for the future also revolve around Scotland's hopes of hosting more major international badminton events.

    She said: "The 2007 Sudirman Cup (world mixed team championships) remains BADMINTONscotland's next major objective, especially after narrowly missing out to China with our 2005 bid.

    But she heads for Kuala Lumpur with unexpected and additional ammunition. She explained: "I will be able to report first hand about the great and unexpected strides forward Scottish badminton has made in the relatively short time since I was last with the Council in the summer.

    "Last month's Bank of Scotland Scottish International Championships was without doubt our best ever. We had television, unprecedented media coverage, bumper Badminton Carnivals for the young players but, most important of all, a full house for the finals and bumper crowds on the other two days.

    "Fans were coming back to our sport and it shows that we are getting the message across. It certainly shows badminton can still pull in a good crowd in these days of soccer and rugby dominance. People were actually phoning up during the finals asking if they could still come in!

    "It's this kind of support which fuels our desire to stage big badminton events.

    "We have done so before, holding European and world championships, and with the support of partners like Bank of Scotland, Glasgow City Council and badminton manufacturers Yonex, we have the financial backing to do so again."

    But to achieve her 2007 goal, Smillie, like many other delegates, will want to know what the future holds for the IBF amid plans to move the Federation's headquarters to Singapore following the recent departure of IBF chief executive and former SBU secretary Neil Cameron.

    "Like many of my fellow delegates, I am concerned to know what the IBF have in mind," said Smillie. "I am not against change but I am sure we would all first like to see a feasibility study by an independent firm of management consultants before we go rushing into something we may later regret.

    "Like many of my European colleagues I would like some concrete reassurance that any move of the offices to Singapore would not be the first step towards an Asian stranglehold on the game off the court. We still want to be in a position to bid for events in a fair and competitive climate and, of course, we would like to think we would be awarded some of them as well.

    "In recent times Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, England and, of course, Scotland have staged world championships. And very professionally too. We need that still to be the case.

    "Hosting European Championships will not be enough if the game is to continue thriving in the West as well as the East.

    "What we have seen in Glasgow last month shows that the public want more, not less. My message will come over loud and clear: 'Scotland remain up for it'."

  2. #2
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    If you have ever seen Ms Smilie on TV you would know that she lacks the pizaz to come across as anything other than monotone. During a brief interview given to the BBC it was less than charismatic, but wha's that I hear you say badminton on terrestrial TV in the UK - surely not and in a non national format too. Amazing. They must have put in a few hours worth of work on that one it's the first time I've seen cameras at the event!

    Having said that the Scottish Open was a very well organised tournament this year and my hat is off to all the guys and girls who helped and took part, although there is one major niggling point. The S.B.U. website listed this as the best year for players that they have had - would it be sheer coincidence that this years event also falls in the same timescale for Olympic qualifying points?

    I'm sure next years event will tell.

    As for the S.B.U. and Ms Smilie they have done a good job thus far and should have our complete support for what they have to do in the future, I think you can see From Anne's statement that she lives and breathes badminton of the thistled nation and works her a** of to try and bring top class events to our little country but what chance do we have against asian nations?

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    Dill, Soctland hosted the 1997 badminton world champs so hope is not all lost. Be positive

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    Dill, Soctland hosted the 1997 badminton world champs so hope is not all lost. Be positive
    Yes, no doubt a give it to "them" approach just to shut "them" up!

    In my view the arena that is used is totaly out of date, a new one needs to be built to house events, a new badminton academy was built about a year ago so the squads could have somewhere to train that offered everything they needed and is quite impressive with the main exception being that if you look up to hit the shuttle you loose it in the light and have to make a rough approximation of where it is. Sometimes it's good to have access to state of the art facilities

    The worst thing is in my view is that nothing beats the old hub of badminton in Scotland which is a converted paint warehouse, it has no facilities, it's very difficult to get to, it's quite dark inside, it's regularly about -10 in the mornings so you should try and play in the evenings to avoid frostbite and you never loose the shuttle in the light because the walls are dark green with a burgandy band round them.

    I have no doubt that Ms Smillie will try as hard as she normally does but she is fighting a very hard battle and is making some headway to give her the recodnition that she (and all her team) deserves, what do you think the chances are of a nation who has no-one in the top tier against the power houses of badminton are?

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    The chances are fair because the game is trying to promote itself amongst nations not renowned for badminton.

    To be fair, the WC was last held in an Asian country in 1989 (I think). Definately it was in China, Beijing in 1987.

    Splitting the Sudirman cup away from the WC allows greater flexibility and a choice of two different venues. Next Sudirman cup is in China, but next WC is in USA.

    Thomas and Uber cups are always going to be in Asia. However, if and when Denmark get to win it ( ), the succeeding TC/UC will be held in Denmark.

    Going by history, my guess is that in the future, the WC will rarely be in an Asian country for promotional purposes.

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Dill, if it is of any consolation, Singapore is only a tiny dot on the world map. By comparison Scotland looms large. We are perhaps one of the smallest nations on earth!

    We have only 4 million people, one million of whom are foreigners, including Scots. Britain has been our role model for most part before 1960. Thereafter, we muddled through, mainly through trials and tribulations.

    But this hasn't stopped us from offering our resources as a candidate for IBF's next possible headquarters. I suppose, our people are more fervent followers of badminton and our sports officials and our government are supportive of the role that our SBA aspires to play. In my opinion, IBF has been stationed in Europe for far too long and Asia should be given a chance to make a contribution to bring world badminton to a higher level.

    Asia has made tremendous strides in promoting the game in this part of the world as evidenced by the dominance of its players at the world stage. I think it is also not wrong to say that Asia has provided much of the sponsorship. So, it is not out of order to let Asia speed up the growth of the world organization so that badminton can achieve world recognition it richly deserves.

    In an earlier post, on hearing that Singapore is going to make a bid for the IBF venue, I have enumerated a number of points why Singapore should be given a chance. I see no reason why Scotland should not be given a chance either. I certainly wish both of us will meet with success!

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    The location of the IBF headquarters is of no concern to me, from a personal viewpoint I would rather it be in the East rather than it's current location, I think there is more relevance there for some of the reasons you have mentioned and others.

    Myself and Cheung were talking about the chances of a smaller nation with no players of notable quality being able to stage world class events, Cheung is considerably more hopefull than I and probably speaks with more reason.

    My viewpoint is that in other countries like Scotland the venues are staffed with dedicated teams and also mainly volunteers and do a fine job but the venue in Scotland in my opinion is not wothy of such events.

    Oh and name me a Scottish player (without looking at the ranking sheet on the front page) - see what I mean.

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    You are right. I can't name any current prominent player from Scotland. But in the game of golf, St Andrew's comes to mind. The Mecca for golf, where the world's top golfers pay annual pilgrimage - that's what Scotland is famous for!

    The Scots have proven their worth in golf and this can extend to badminton as well. I suppose it has to do with the passion, enthusiasm and commitment of the people who love the game and want it to grow. Granted what you said about the inadequate facilities, but this can change if the people involved are committed to making improvements. Time will tell.

    We have experienced difficulties along the way as well. But things are moving in the right direction now with a much more involved leadership at the helm of the SBA. Our Sports School, which has 10 brand new badminton courts for our budding players, has just started this Monday. This is a first in our sports history.

    Ms Smillie may be able to spread her passion around and attract the right people and institutions to lend her the required support to help achieve her objective.

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    Originally posted by Loh
    You are right. I can't name any current prominent player from Scotland. But in the game of golf, St Andrew's comes to mind. The Mecca for golf, where the world's top golfers pay annual pilgrimage - that's what Scotland is famous for!

    The Scots have proven their worth in golf and this can extend to badminton as well. I suppose it has to do with the passion, enthusiasm and commitment of the people who love the game and want it to grow. Granted what you said about the inadequate facilities, but this can change if the people involved are committed to making improvements. Time will tell.

    We have experienced difficulties along the way as well. But things are moving in the right direction now with a much more involved leadership at the helm of the SBA. Our Sports School, which has 10 brand new badminton courts for our budding players, has just started this Monday. This is a first in our sports history.

    Ms Smillie may be able to spread her passion around and attract the right people and institutions to lend her the required support to help achieve her objective.
    I hope it's not as long time wise for badminton to get to the same level as the golf

    We have a lovley new centre as well, been open for about a year or so but strangely there is only pull out seating and this uses up about 2 of the 6 courts in the main hall and the other hall has 4 courts with only a viewing area from a walkway above - a very strange set up. But it was probably only meant as a training venue, because of the way it was funded it had to recoup some of its costs so had to be available to take public bookings as it looks as if it is run by the City of Glasgow council. You can see it if you go to the link to Badminotn Scotland supplied in my profile and search the site.

    I'm glad to see you have the same kind of thing there and hope that there is a good structure to bring the full circle into effect, getting juniors involved and trained to play and compete and then to coach the next batch of junions and so on etc.

    Ms Smillie (& not forgetting the rest of the team) indeed has applied herself very well but they have to work with Hee Haw (Glaswegian for very little) money so a new venue for competitions would be a long time coming and after getting the Academy built I fear the funding may not be as forthcoming as it may be seeking other sports to aid.

    I wonder if anyone from the S.B.U. would care to comment?

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