MARKING 100 days to go before the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 gets underway in Glasgow, BADMINTONscotland announced BBC Broadcaster and Presenter Dougie Vipond and Olympian and two time Commonwealth Games medallist Susan Egelstaff as their newest official Ambassadors for the global event.
They were joined by European and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour and members of Badminton Scotland’s Sudirman Cup team to mark the milestone event at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Pupils from local Hillhead High School were also in attendance, taking part in the 100 days to go 100 second rally challenge held at nearby Kelvin Hall, to win tickets to the World Championships hosted at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August 2017.
Vipond and Egelstaff are the latest signings to the BADMINTONScotland ambassador family which also includes stars from football, rugby, golf and tennis. Craig Gordon, Finn Russell, Catriona Matthew and Judy Murray are already on board, helping maximise the impact of the World Championships when they come to Glasgow.
Whilst double Commonwealth bronze medallist Egelstaff is well known for her successes on the badminton court, Vipond - who is best known as a founding member and drummer with the band Deacon Blue - is also no stranger to the sport. He started playing badminton when he was ten years old at primary school and played at regional and national level as a junior, winning the Scottish Under 14’s doubles title. Also a highly successful broadcaster, his busy media schedule and an injury niggle have combined to prevent him from returning to serious competitive action. However Vipond was keen to demonstrate his on court prowess, swapping his drum sticks for a badminton racket to take part in the 100 second rally challenge.
“I have a lifelong passion for badminton and I am delighted to be involved as an official ambassador for the World Championships when the event comes to Glasgow this summer, which will hopefully inspire many to come along and support the event and also get playing the sport,” said Vipond.
That sentiment was echoed by Susan Egelstaff: “This is my sport and the biggest badminton event in the world is coming to Scotland this summer and I am delighted that although I have now retired, I can be actively involved in supporting this event as an official ambassador.
“Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world and I would encourage people to come along and watch this event live when the world’s best players come to my home city to contest global titles.”
The diverse background of the ambassadors demonstrates the wide appeal of the sport and Dan Travers, Chairman of BADMINTONscotland is excited about the opportunity to promote the sport to a Scottish audience.
“This is a really exciting time as the 100 day countdown begins to the TOTAL BWF World Championships in Glasgow, where we will get the chance to support our players - including recent European silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour - as they take on the very best in the world.
“It will also be interesting to see how Europe does against the very best that Asia has to offer.”
Travers can also draw on his own experience of feeding off home support since he and partner Billy Gilliland remain the only Scottish badminton players to have won a Commonwealth Gold medal when they took the men’s doubles title at Edinburgh in 1986.
“The event will be a great showcase of the finest talent in the world right now and I would urge everyone to book a ticket and come and witness the greatest players in action.”
The TOTAL BWF World Championships are supported by Glasgow Life and Event Scotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, representing the continuing commitment to building on the foundations laid by the Glasgow 2017 Legacy Programme.
Billy Garrett, Glasgow Life’s Director of Sport, said: “We’re all really pleased to welcome Susan and Dougie to the Badminton World Championships family. With only 100 days to go until the main event, tickets are going fast so this is one of the last chances people will have to snap up passes for the biggest and best badminton event in the world.
“Glasgow is one of the world’s top five sporting cities so is the perfect host of the Championships. Our commitment to legacy is also highlighted by our joint Glasgow 2017 Legacy Programme which will help us promote the enjoyment of the sport in young people across the country – helping us find the next Dan Travers or Kirsty Gilmour!”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “It is great to have Susan and Dougie join the roster of fantastic ambassadors already on board promoting the Total BWF World Championships. With 100 days to go, the excitement is well and truly building to what is going to be an amazing event for players and spectators alike.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and as the eyes of the sporting world once again fall on Glasgow, EventScotland is proud to be supporting this year’s World Championships.”
The TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August. It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and UK Sport.
For tickets and other information go to www.glasgow2017.com