Kings calls for standard facilities for journalists

William Kings, a leading SJA member and the chairman of the AIPS badminton commission, has made a call for minimum standards of provision for journalists covering his sport, stating that hi-speed internet and wireless should be a minimum standard at all of badminton’s Super Series events.

In his last address before stepping down as chairman of the Badminton Writers’ Association of Great Britain, Kings told guests at their 25th annual award lunch, held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens yesterday that the most important thing the members of the media needed in covering major tournaments was high-speed internet connection and particularly wi-fi service to enable journalists to provide a professional and instant coverage of events.

A record 166 guests attended the lunch, including delegates of the Badminton World Federation, officials from tournament sponsors Yonex and many of the senior award winners of the past 25 years right back to former England star Ray Stevens, the inaugural winner in 1983.

Guests included world and Commonwealth mixed doubles champion Nathan Robertson, 2000 Olympic bronze medalists Simon Archer and Jo Goode and 10-times English national singles champion Darren Hall.

Members of the AIPS Badminton Commission were also present at the lunch which is traditionally held on the quarter-finals day of the Yonex All England Championships.

The senior award went to Anthony Clark, world silver medalist in both mixed and men’s doubles, who spoke of what a proud day it was for him and how he was thrilled to follow in a long list of illustrious winners. Clark warned his best friend and rival Robertson that he would be fighting him for that mixed doubles gold in Beijing.

The 2007 Young Player of the Year award went to Bath University student and rising England star Mariana Agathangelou. Her brother Christopher received the award on her behalf as she was competing in a tournament in Germany.

Earlier in the day Badminton England launched its bid to stage the 2011 World Championships in London.

The 2011 bid will focus on a venue with the London Olympics just one year away. The Dome at Greenwich, the Olympic badminton venue, is one of the four possible locations for the championships.

BE chief executive Adrian Christy said: “I feel we made an impressive bid and we were given a fair and warm reception. We have been working closely with the Events for London team in preparing our presentation and this would be a great way to start the countdown to the Olympic Games in London in 2012.”

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