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Badminton South Africa Celebrates 75th Anniversary
- Updated: October 22, 2013
Badminton South Africa (BSA) celebrated its 75th anniversary at a banquet dinner that was held at the Benoni Country Club on the 12 October 2013. At this glitz and glamour event, the Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation, Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen was the keynote speaker.
The main speaker was International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member, Sam Ramsamy.
The special guests were Badminton World Federation (BWF) representative, Raj Gaya from Mauritius and Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA), President, Omar Bellali from Morocco.
Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer represented the South African Police Services.
Previous BSA Presidents, Chaka Kroukamp and Dennis Velchage were invited and their presence was acknowledged.
The function was organized and coordinated by Andre Swart, the Chairman of Eastern Gauteng Badminton Association and his executive board members.
The function was attended by current and previous shuttlers, administrators, well-wishers, families and friends.
The South African Badminton Union was formed in 1938. In 1939 it was accepted as a member of the International Badminton Federation. In 1998 the name changed to Badminton South Africa (BSA).
In his welcoming address, the President of BSA, Larry Keys said, We are celebrating our 75th Anniversary today together with the success of our senior and junior national teams. We are now ranked number one in the seniors, U/19 and U/15 in Africa. With our increase in membership, badminton is now gaining popularity. I have enjoyed the support of my executive board members, the badminton associations, national coaches and all concerned in ensuring that badminton in South Africa becomes competitive at the highest level. Thank you.
A special lifetime achievement award was presented to BSA President, Larry Keys for his continued dedication, loyalty, the promotion of badminton at all levels throughout the country and for his exemplary leadership.
This award was approved at the Annual General Meeting held in October 2012 in Bloemfontein. The Vice Chairman – Finance, Kallie Van Heerden presented the award to Keys on behalf of the BSA Executive Committee.
In his keynote address, Deputy Minister Oosthuizen conveyed his congratulations by stating, It is my pleasure to address you this evening on behalf of the Ministry of Sports and Recreation. I must congratulate Badminton South Africa on its 75th anniversary.
On the development and encouragement of the sport he said, As a Ministry, our request tonight is, let us join hands to make the game available and accessible to all children, even in the remotest parts of our country. It is an easy game to learn; it requires little equipment and can be played recreationally outdoors.
The Deputy Minister further added, Many of our shuttlers (players) have graduated to playing in our Proteas badminton team. Players strive to satisfy their dreams and the highest aspirations are to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Prepare yourselves well and we will not only give you all the necessary resources and scientific support, but a grand farewell also. If you succeed, a heros welcome home awaits you! Congratulations on your 75 years! Happy Birthday.
The main speaker, IOC Executive Board Member, Sam Ramsamy congratulated and commended BSA on attaining 75 years. South African Badminton has made considerable progress in improving its performance level internationally. Although you have to contend with a relatively small budget compared with other sports your progress is highly commendable. Badminton South Africa has also paid careful attention to developing the sport country-wide,” said Ramsamy.
A congratulatory message from Badminton World Federation (BWF) President, Poul-Erik Heyer was received and in the message he stated, I extend my sincere and warmest congratulations to Badminton South Africa on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. Through the passion and personalities of its leaders, Badminton South Africa has evolved into a leading badminton-playing nation on the African continent. Your organization has benefitted from capable administrators such as your current President, Larry Keys.
Raj Gaya and Omar Bellali made gift presentations to Larry Keys on behalf of the organization they represented. In their address they congratulated BSA on attaining its 75th anniversary and wished BSA every success for the future.
Since South Africas readmission to the international sporting arena, BSA was represented at the Barcelona, Beijing and London Olympics games.
BSA is ranked number one in Africa and 25th in the BWF rankings.
Johan Croukamp received a standing ovation when his name was announced for him to receive a special commendation for a life dedicated to 45 years of competitive badminton in South African and abroad. His recent victory was when he won the World Seniors Championship (singles) abroad. He was congratulated by the President of BSA and he received tumultuous applauses and a standing ovation.
Certificates were presented to members of BSA by President BSA, Larry Keys for ten years of loyal and dedicated service. Some of the awardees were Willie Joseph (Development), and Herman Nagel (General Manager BSA).
The federation consists of 14 Provincial Associations, and 13 Country Districts. The National Team competes on a regular basis in various International Continental Events.
The junior under-19 team participates regularly in the World Junior championships, as well as the All Africa Junior Championships.
The domestic season is very full and supports 23 national Championships (team and individual events) accommodating players from ages 11 through to Golden Eagles (over 65 years). All the team events demonstrate gender equality. The shuttle time project focusing on schools is an unprecedented success. To this date, 234 educators have been trained with 114 new schools representing 2047 children playing badminton.
Prizes were presented by the Deputy Minister and IOC Executive Board member to the winners and teams who participated in the 63rd SA Open Championships and Inter-provincial Tournament, which was contested during the week at the John Barrable Hall. The function was concluded with a dance in a celebratory mood.