BWF AWARDS – Rowan, Kullnigg, Li honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) honoured four individuals for their outstanding contribution to the sport in a recent luncheon hosted in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting on 15 May 2010 in Kuala Lumpur.

Leading the way in the honours list were Veronica Rowan, Horst Kullnigg and Li Furong who were recipients of BWF’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by BWF president Dr Kang Young Joong.

In reading the citation for the award recipients, BWF Vice President Torsten Berg acknowledged the immense contribution from Rowan, Kullnigg and Li towards the development and promotion of the sport of badminton, and in their contributions to the BWF.

“Veronica Rowan built the IBF (now BWF) administration from an office in her spare bedroom and a few hundred dollar budget to a full Summer Olympic sport, with 10 staff in a modern office building in Cheltenham, England, and a million dollar budget,” said Berg.

Rowan, who served as the then International Badminton Federation (IBF) General Secretary for 17 years, is largely credited with overseeing the transformation of the IBF administration of the Federation from its humble beginnings to a Summer Olympic sport.

Ronnie, as she is affectionately known, also represented England in badminton before her appointment as IBF’s first full time professional General Secretary.

Horst Kullnigg, from Austria, served the sport for some 40 years at the national, continental and world levels.  In the citation for Kullnigg, Berg highlighted that he “held many positions, amongst them President of ÖBV from 1980 – 1992, Director of Finance for Badminton Europe from 1986 – 2008 and he was a Council Member of the BWF from 2003 – 2009, finishing as Chair of the BWF Finance Committee”.

Former China BA president Li Furong who was not able to be present at the ceremony. Under his 12-year leadership of China BA, the Chinese badminton team made great inroads in international competitions culiminating with 10 gold medals in the past three Olympic Games.

Berg noted that “The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the BWF to recognize individuals who have made a significant and lifetime contribution towards the advancement and promotion of the sport worldwide.”

Factors that are taken into consideration in the selection process are span and scope of contribution, legacy of the nominee’s contribution/work and any additional awards or honours received.

The awards ceremony recognized two other administrators of the sport for their long and distinguished service to the sport.

Jeff Robson, a former IBF Vice president and member of Council from 1979 – 2004, was honoured with the Herbert Scheele Trophy (named after the legendary IBF Honorary Secretary who served the sport from 1937-1976).

R. Balasuperamaniam, a former IBF Council member from 1960-1969, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

“All these individuals were exemplary in their service and contribution to badminton and the Federation. As such, the BWF is pleased to recognize them in this simple but meaningful ceremony,” added Berg.

All the awards were presented by BWF President Dr Kang Young Joong.

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