Gregory Verpoorten to retire from political badminton career
Badminton Europe (BEC) President Gregory Verpoorten will not seek re-election when his term ends in April of 2019. Verpoorten will also not be looking for another term as Vice President for the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Gregory Verpoorten has been part of the BEC Board of Directors since 2007 and has been leading Badminton Europe as president since 2014. Since 2009, he served as a Vice-President of BWF. But in April 2019, the European badminton member associations will have to elect a new President when the Belgian steps down from the position.
- I chose not to seek re-election due to my professional commitments and mainly as I want to spend more time with my family. I have two fantastic young kids who both deserve even more attention from their father and my spouse and I look forward to spending more time together as well. The timing is right to pass the baton as we have, as a team, built a great foundation to further grow both organizations and as I know that there are a lot of good people around in Europe at this moment to take over the leadership. There is great support of the Membership for the work done in Badminton Europe and BWF, so I have no doubt that the new leadership will get the support they need as well, Verpoorten says.
- I am confident that both BEC and BWF will find the right candidate(s) to take over and I am ready and available to support a smooth transition in every way I can.
Badminton Europe is hiring!
It is no secret that Gregory Verpoorten was a key driver for the proposed change of the scoring system, which did not get the 2/3 majority support at the most recent BWF Annual General Meeting (AGM), but the result of the voting has not at all been a factor for the BEC President’s decision.
- I already communicated to the BWF President, Poul-Erik Hoyer, last year that I would very likely not seek re-election as BWF Vice President. The change of the scoring is in my mind an important change for the enhancement of the game, and I still stand behind the proposal and feel we have, as a leadership group, made a strong case. But the Membership at this time didn’t feel strong enough about the need for change, which is a decision I fully understand. Again, this has nothing to do with my decision to retire. If your daughter tells you there was no Father’s Day this year because daddy wasn’t home, you will likely understand what I feel is the right decision to make. My travel schedule for my day job is a heavy one and continuing to travel around the world for badminton next to that is just taking up too much of my life, Verpoorten says.
The Belgian has very mixed feelings about his decision though:
- I have had a great time working in badminton and I will miss it. Badminton has given me so much, ever since I was a kid, not in the least great friendships which I am sure will last a lifetime. I will miss the team and the chance to make a difference for our sport, which I am convinced we did. Looking back at where badminton was in 2007-2009 versus where we brought it today, I am very proud of what we accomplished.
Gregory Verpoorten will continue as President for Badminton Europe and BWF Vice-President for Europe until the next BEC Annual Delegates’ Meeting, which takes place in Kiev, Ukraine, on 27 April 2019.