The Badminton World Federation (BWF) President, Poul-Erik Høyer, took the opportunity to underline the importance of Athletes’ voice at the sports top table, as Dutch international Koen Ridder was announced as the new Chair of the world governing bodies Athletes’ Commission.
Ridder replaces Belgium’s Yuhan Tan whose four-year term on the commission ended in May. Germany’s Marc Zwiebler is the new Vice-Chair.
Ridder was chosen as Chair by fellow commission members after the Athletes’ Commission election which concluded at last month’s TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast. He will represent athletes on the BWF Council for the next two years until the end of his four-year term.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer welcomed Ridder to the BWF Council, noting the importance of players having good representation.
“Our players are a key stakeholder within our international federation and it is crucial they have a strong voice at the BWF’s highest level. We look forward to Koen’s fruitful contribution in this regard,” said Høyer, also thanking Tan for his service on athletes’ behalf.
Having been Vice-Chair for the past two years, Ridder said he will draw on that experience as he assumes the helm.
“I worked very closely as Vice-Chair with Yuhan Tan who did a great job. I will use the knowledge which I gained during that time,” said the 32-year-old.
The new Chair stated the commission’s focus will be “to become more visible, reach more athletes, improve their overall well-being and offer after-career solutions”.
“I hope we can take the Athletes’ Commission to the next level by intensifying our communication and discussions with BWF; using information and developments we receive from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Athletes’ Commission; and improving our communication with our non-English-speaking athletes.”
Outgoing Chair, Yuhan Tan, conveyed his best wishes to the BWF Athletes’ Commission.
“I want to thank everybody for the co-operation over the past years. It has certainly been a privilege to represent the athletes and I wish the Athletes’ Commission all the best going forward,” he said.