WITH barely 150 days to go before the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 come to Glasgow, BADMINTONscotland marked the latest stage in the countdown by naming Judy Murray as their fourth Official Ambassador.
Judy joins Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Scotland rugby star Finn Russell and top golfer Catriona Matthew as standard bearers for the World Championships.
Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “I am delighted to have Judy involved with our World Championships Legacy Programme. She and Finn were both at the Big Hit Festival on finals day at the Scottish Open Grand Prix and saw first-hand how excited and eager the youngsters were.
“Everyone knows how enthusiastic and passionate Judy is about encouraging children to develop their sporting skills and her high public profile makes her assistance an invaluable asset to our sport and to the World Championships in particular.
“I'm sure Judy will play a very significant role in drawing attention to the event and especially to the development legacy we are all working hard to secure."
Judy said: "I'm a huge badminton fan. When I was young, I played tennis in the summer and badminton in the winter and got to junior international level. I don't play anymore but I love to watch it so I'm thrilled the World Championships is coming to Glasgow and that I have the chance to help promote the event and the sport."
The announcement was made at the latest Big Hit Festival at the Peak Leisure Centre in the Stirling Sports Village when Judy joined 85 pupils from Aberfoyle, Bridge of Allan, Callander, Kincardine, Newton and Tillicoutry Primary.
There was another treat in store for the children who were thrilled when Commonwealth Games and European silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour dropped in to give them some pointers.
The Big Hit Festivals are part of the World Championships Legacy Programme aimed at introducing 30,000 youngsters to badminton.
The primary schoolchildren were put through their paces by Young Sports Leaders from Dunfermline High School as well as primary and secondary teachers attending the Continued Professional Development (CPD) session which is part of the Glasgow 2017 Legacy programme.
Billy Garrett, Glasgow Life’s Head of Sport, said: “We’re all very happy to welcome Judy to the Glasgow 2017 family. Like our other three ambassadors, she’s seen for herself how much children enjoy badminton when they’re introduced to the sport through BADMINTONscotland’s Big Hit Festivals.
“A huge part of our Legacy campaign is introducing young people to badminton and ensuring they are given the appropriate support to continue playing if they wish to do so. That’s why it’s so great to have people like Judy on board to help us promote not only the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow, but also the sport itself.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “It is great to have Judy on board to help promote the Total BWF World Championships 2017. She does amazing work in encourage young people to lead healthy and active lives so she’s an ideal ambassador to have supporting the World Championships and its legacy programme.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and we are delighted to be supporting BADMINTONscotland to be deliver the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 through EventScotland’s International Programme.”
The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.
It is being delivered in partnership with Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.
For tickets and other information go to www.glasgow2017.com