Open Letter to the Badminton Community in England

June 27, 2022

Open letter to the badminton community in England

I am writing to you following our AGM on Saturday to update you on the progress we have made since my last letter to you in November.

The magnitude of the changes that have taken place at Badminton England over the past year has been significant. While it has taken some time, we are starting to get out of this difficult period and we will be stronger for it.

As we look to the future, the Board are under no illusions that there is still a long way to go if we are to restore pride in English badminton.

Our new management team

In March, we announced the appointment of Sue Storey as our new Chief Executive and Morten Frost as our Performance Director. Sue led significant changes as Chief Executive at Volleyball England and she has an open, collaborative style that has enabled her to make a difference from the moment she joined us in May. Morten has had an exemplary career, achieving exceptional success as a player and coach, and we are delighted that he was eager to join us, which he finally did in early June.

It was clear to those involved in their recruitment that Sue and Morten share the same philosophy as the Board and we look forward to the future under their leadership. Both Sue and Morten are in their early stages, and as they settle into their respective roles, they’re already beginning to make changes.

year in review

The Annual General Meeting is the time when we review the past year and look to the future.

The annual report for 2021/22 has been presented to the members and contains the board’s assessment of performance in all aspects of the game. The annual report is available here

At the AGM we provided a number of updates on the topics covered in the annual report:

• The Talent Pathway review is nearing completion after extensive research and consultation, and the results will be presented to the Board over the summer before being released to a wider audience later in the year

• We continue to make progress in implementing UK Sport’s health check recommendations, changing philosophy and building a modern performance support team

• Our attempt to retain Super 1000 status for the YONEX All England Championships has been successful and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best players back to Birmingham for the next four years.

looking ahead

Looking ahead, the Board has a number of immediate priorities:

• We must complete the strategic review with the new perspective that a new leadership team brings, including developing long-term plans to develop talent, support club and national competitions, grow the grassroots of our sport and achieve medal success

• In order for us to be a modern national governing body, open, able to listen and work more flexibly with a wide range of partners, we need to complete our work on culture and values ​​and organizational change

• We will publish our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plans and, having recruited a steering group that has a rich mix of talent and experience from across badminton, the broader sporting community and the industry. In the first year we will focus on education, recruitment, improving disabled badminton provision and tackling inequalities through a place-based approach.

• If we fund investment in sport beyond the grants made available by Sport England and UK Sport (which have conditions attached to their use), we need to restore and increase levels of self-generated income, including membership income. Sponsorship and other commercial income from YONEX All England and the National Badminton Centre.

To reiterate what I said in November; we must be willing to think longer term than in the past, to rebuild first and then develop and expand our capabilities. I say this both in terms of today’s challenges and the ongoing resource scarcity.

We need to be clear about our intent and determined, but while we can make many immediate improvements, we also need to be patient to reach the heights we aspire to. We have a five to ten year time horizon and the board and leadership team are very focused and committed to what needs to be done.

Finally, I am delighted that James Thomas was elected to the Board at the AGM. James is a leader with over 20 years’ experience in the British competitive sport system, having held various competitive roles in Olympic and Paralympic sports and having a background as a player in rugby union.

He has held a number of senior management positions, working extensively with boards, UK and national government agencies, trading partners and senior management teams. After five years as Performance Director at British Gymnastics, one of the country’s largest NGBs, he recently became Director of Performance Services at Manchester City FC.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Sue Storey if you have any questions or comments.


Mike Robinson

Leave a Comment