The world’s fastest racket sport will hit the North West as Liverpool and Manchester are set to stage one of its premier tournaments, the European Badminton Championships. The star-studded Championships will be split into two events for the first time ever with the Echo Arena, Liverpool holding the 2009 European Team Championship from 10th-15th February 2009, while the MEN Arena, Manchester will play host to the European Individual Championships in April 2010.
Tickets for the Team Championship, which are set to feature many of the world’s top players from over 30 different nations including stars from Beijing such as British Olympians Nathan Robertson, Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg, have gone on sale today at www.accliverpool.com with prices starting at just £12 for adults and £3 for children. There will be a 10% discount on all tickets bought before December 31st 2008 and all Team Championship ticket purchasers will be given a 10% discount on tickets for the Individual Championships when they go on sale next year.
While Manchester has a rich heritage in staging top level badminton tournaments, having hosted the Commonwealth Games and being the regular home to the annual National Championships, The 2009 European Team Championship will be Liverpool’s first major badminton tournament. It will also be the first time that the European Championships have been staged in England since Preston hosted the event in 1984.
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England said, “It is great for badminton in England, and particularly in the North West, that such significant tournaments will be staged here over the next couple of years.
“Recent surveys have shown that badminton is the largest participation racket sport in England and the European Badminton Championships will allow us to build upon this popularity.”
At today’s ticket launch, England stars Jenny Wallwork and Chris Langridge took part in master classes with youngsters in Liverpool. Wallwork, who was part of the England squad that took silver at the European Championships in Denmark in April, said, “The European Championships are one of the biggest events in the world and coming from the North West it will be incredible to play in front of a home crowd.”
Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing at the NWDA, said: “The European Team and Individual Badminton Championships are major events capable of attracting large numbers of visitors to the region and enhancing the profile of Liverpool and Manchester as ideal tourism destinations and venues for staging world-class sporting events.
“The Championships will make a significant contribution to the regional economy and will further project Liverpool and Manchester on the international stage, carrying on the legacy from Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year and Manchester’s World Sport 08 – both of which have been a resounding success.”
The European Badminton Championships (The 2009 European Team Championship, Liverpool and The 2010 European Individual Championships, Manchester) are being staged by BADMINTON England, Badminton Europe, Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and UK Sport. The home side will be supported at the Team Championships by official Team England partner Center Parcs, who recently became part of the BADMINTON England family.