Badminton Asia 2020: United and Connected
Badminton Asia represents a diverse set of people, coming from 43 country members from 5 sub-regions across Asia (East, South East, West, Central and South Asia), who all share the love of one sport: badminton. The shared spirit of badminton that transcends languages, physical builts and regions is what makes the sport so big in Asia.
Our 2020 theme ‘United and Connected’ highlights our effort to bring together our passion and love for badminton from professional athletes, young athletes, coaches, umpires, officials to supporters all over Asia. But most importantly, this theme is about recognizing that despite the cultural and geographical differences we have, we are all bonded and entwined by the passion we have for badminton. That love and passion brings us ‘united and connected’ together.
This theme is especially relevant to today and the world that we live in. Now more than ever, we, as a collective, have to stick together and uplift one another. To push and support each other to the best of our abilities. This is not just about badminton, or about sports in general, but as people living together in this world.
‘United and Connected’ is greater than just something related to badminton. It’s about the unity people have with each other despite the differences that we all have, and how that difference, makes us stronger.
Our theme fits in perfectly with the values that the Olympics hold. In just a few days time, we will celebrate what is known as ‘Olympic Day’. Every year on June the 23rd, we celebrate this day, where thousands of people from all over the world participate in sports and cultural events such as ‘runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars’. Olympic Day first started in 1948 to commemorate the creation of the modern Olympic Games on 23rd of June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris. Everyone can participate in all the activities available on the 23rd of June. Olympic day is not just about sports, it’s also about the balance between education, culture, and the Olympic spirit of ‘friendship, solidarity and fairplay’.
But this year is different.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected and changed the whole world. We had to learn to adapt to a different kind of life from the one we knew. Because of the pandemic, many things had to be altered, including the Olympics. This year's summer Olympics in Tokyo was postponed to the following year in 2021. It’s an unprecedented situation that we are all in. But we have to be strong, united and connected when it comes to facing this unprecedented time.
So what does this mean for Olympic Day 2020?
Well, it’s going to be a different kind of day. Because of the situation that we’re all in, this year all sporting and cultural events that are usually held will most likely not happen. But this doesn’t mean that Olympic Day cannot be celebrated. There will be various activities held online all over the world on the 23rd of June. Remember, it’s not just a celebration of outdoor sports, but also a balance of education and culture.
So on this Olympic Day, we’ll focus on the Core Olympic Values and what it means for us at Badminton Asia.
There are 3 main Olympic Values, as mentioned in ‘The Fundamentals of Olympic Values and Education’ programme. They are: Excellence, Respect and Friendship.
- Excellence: Excellence means doing the best we can, on the field of play or in our professional life. The important thing is not winning, but taking part, making progress and enjoying the healthy combination of body, will and mind.
- Respect: This includes respect for yourself and your body, for other people, for rules and regulations, for sport and for the environment.
- Friendship: Friendship is at the heart of the Olympic Movement. It encourages us to see sport as an instrument for mutual understanding between individuals, and between people all over the world.
Even though the Olympic games are postponed and routines need to be adjusted, the Olympic values have been there with us, acting as a guide. For Olympic Day this year, of the 3 Olympic values, we will be focusing on the third: friendship.
In sport, friendships are bound to be formed, whether they are with teammates or rivals.
While it’s now a hard time, knowing that you have friends that go through the same situation as you, and exchanging words of encouragement will keep our head up for the days ahead, from now, all the way up to the Olympics in 2021 and beyond.
Know this: friendship is at the core of many sporting events, especially badminton. The bonds you make with others, including your teammates, opposing players, and coaches are those like none other. You work together, sweat together, compete together. It’s those experiences that foster such a strong bond in the realm of sports, and those bonds are rare to see in a world like today. They’re special, and should be valued as such. That’s why, we at Badminton Asia, put great emphasis on fostering friendships within and outside of our communities.
To make Olympic Day 2020 more special, we launched a campaign called “Friendship Challenge”. It’s a fun and interactive activity that encourages us to stay positive and keep developing ourselves regardless of current situation, because our friends are looking forward to seeing us in our best shape. It’s a campaign that anybody can participate in easily. We hope it can entertain, bring positive energy and remind us that while we’re apart, our friendship is still strong. And more than ever we need to be united and connected to bring Asia’s badminton forward.