By William Kings, Badminton Writers’ Association
The Badminton Writers’ Association has just staged its 27th annual awards lunch at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Nearly 100 guests were present for the event – the 16th to be staged in Birmingham on its traditional All England Friday since the Yonex All England Championships moved to its Midlands home from Wembley in 1994.
The 2009 Senior BWA award went to 2004 Olympic mixed doubles silver medallist Gail Emms for services to the sport. Emms, who retired after the Beijing Olympics, is the reigning Commonwealth champion as well as being 2006 world and 2004 European champion (all with Nathan Robertson). She was also 2006 European women’s doubles champion (with Donna Kellogg) as well as winning six National mixed and six women’s doubles titles with three different partners in each discipline (Robertson (4), Ian Sullivan and Simon Archer in mixed; Kellogg (4), Jo Nicholas and Natalie Munt in women’s doubles).
The BWA/Dorothy Hinchcliff Young Player of the Year Award, which is sponsored by Yonex, went to Edinburgh’s Martin Campbell. The teenager won the Commonwealth Youth Games bronze medal in Pune, India, as well as the Bank of Scotland Under 19 Scottish National singles and doubles titles. Those successes enabled him to pip England’s Panuga Riou and Welsh teenager Jamie Van Hooijdonk to the title – it was the first time the award had gone out of England as the BWA encouraged the judges to include GB players in their considerations.
There was also a surprise Special Award for Services to Badminton to former Certificated Referee Keith Hawthorne, who last year retired from the world’s “Premier League” of refereeing but still remained one of the three-man refereeing team at the 2009 Yonex All England Championships.
Next year’s Championships with be the 100th All England and already big celebrations are being planned to mark the world’s oldest and most prestigious Open tournament. The Championships will be a week later – March 9-14 2010 with the Awards lunch earmarked for Friday, March 12. Former BWA members who would like to attend – and we are looking for a bumper attendance – should contact lunch organiser Tom Marrs (email below).
Any badminton writer or photographers wishing to be considered for membership of the BWA should contact:
Chairman (and AIPS Badminton Commision chairman): William Kings on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone
Deputy chairman/treasurer: Dave Thompson on email@example.com
Social secretary: Tom Marrs on firstname.lastname@example.org
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