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Verpoorten to depart as Badminton Europe president

Gregory Verpoorten has confirmed he will not seek re-election as president of the Badminton Europe (BEC) continental governing body.

Verpoorten has led the organisation since 2014, having initially joined its board of directors in 2007. The Belgian has also served as a vice-president of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) since 2009.

However, Verpoorten has opted to step down from his roles, both with BEC and the BWF, in order to take retirement from his political badminton career.

Verpoorten will continue to lead BEC until April 27, 2019, when the organisation is due to hold its presidential elections at its Annual Delegates’ Meeting in Kiev, Ukraine.

“I chose not to seek re-election due to my professional commitments and mainly as I want to spend more time with my family,” Verpoorten said.

“The timing is right to pass the baton as we have, as a team, built a great foundation to further grow both organisations 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 was a key supporter of a proposal to change the scoring system in badminton, only for the motion to fail to gain the required two-thirds majority support at the most recent BWF Annual General Meeting.

However, Verpoorten said this was not a factor in his decision to retire. He added: “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.”