BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer believes the agreement will help the governing body to further support Special Olympics ©BWF

Special Olympics International have signed an agreement with Badminton World Federation (BWF), which will see them benefit from the governing body’s grassroots development programme “Shuttle Time”.

The scheme, which last week won The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA) Sustainability Award, aims to help teachers in schools learn skills in order to deliver badminton lessons to children and youth, with self-study programme offering training resources, including lesson plans and instructional video clips.

Following the signing of agreement the BWF are set to support coach training and education with the Special Olympics workforce utilising the resources of the “Shuttle Time” programme, with President Poul-Erik Høyer claiming the agreement is “an important opportunity to support the Special Olympics community and to grow the sport in a new and untapped direction”.

Høyer added: “We have seen the activities which Special Olympics International has already created and we believe together, with our expertise, we can get more people playing badminton which is our collective goal.

“Shuttle Time is offered in 17 languages now and this allows us to share these resources with many nationalities globally.

“We are pleased that Special Olympics has seen a value in our programme and we look forward to working with our colleagues in building badminton in Special Olympics community.”

A demonstration match featuring Special Olympic athletes followed the signing of the agreement
A demonstration match featuring Special Olympic athletes followed the signing of the agreement ©BWF

Høyer was speaking after Special Olympics International gave an on-court demonstration in Paris, ahead of Yonex French Open 2015 finals which took place at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.

The demonstration featured Guillaume Roy and Yoann Devidts, two French Special Olympics badminton athletes, who played against French national representatives Pierrick Cajot and Thomas Vallez before presenting the shuttle for the mixed doubles final to the umpire.

Lee Todd, chief of sports for Special Olympics International, claimed the agreement could prove vital in giving athletes and coaches a better structure and further guidance.

"Special Olympics is delighted to have the support of the Badminton World Federation as we strive to share the benefits and grow the great sport of badminton with our 4.5 million athletes, one million coaches and thousands of sport officials through expanded competition opportunities,” he said.

“Already there are more than 110,000 Special Olympics badminton athletes being trained by 20,000 coaches across 69 countries.

“Through this agreement, Special Olympics will now be able to further promote the development and enhancement of badminton, leading to more opportunities for our athletes and the training of Special Olympics athletes as officials.”

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