The international governing body of badminton held its annual general meeting on Saturday.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has limited the position of its president to four terms. The decision was taken during the 81st BWF Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a landmark result for the sport, the membership also approved the proposal to ensure geographical and gender representation on the BWF council by establishing a framework that guarantees global board representation and minimum representation of each gender.

The membership approved changes to the constitution in particular that ensures at least 30 percent of each gender on the council and among the representatives from each continental region. This falls in line with the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to target 30 percent of gender representation in decision-making positions within International Federations (IFs) by 2020.

BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer thanked the entire membership for its cooperation in making the BWF Virtual AGM possible and noted the historical significance of the event. In an official statement, he said, “Today we have made history by staging the very first virtual AGM and I thank all Member Associations and voting delegates for being part of this journey.”

Hoyer remarked, “I also want to congratulate the Membership for passing the landmark vote to approve the constitutional change to ensure gender equality on the BWF Council and for taking another important step to improve our governance practice by bringing in a vetting process for officials of the BWF. The virtual AGM today has allowed us to complete our governance requirements to host our AGM every year before 31 July, but also to deliver some important decisions to ensure we continuously improve our governance practice over time.”

“Our focus on good governance is essential for the BWF and we continue to excel in this area. Just recently, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) released its third review of International Federation (IF) governance, and BWF ranked third overall among 31 Summer IFs.This is fantastic news for badminton that we are doing very well in this area.”

He added, “What’s more pleasing is that today as a federation we have been able to oversee the approval of a number of key council proposals which highlights the ambition of the membership and council to continue to improve.”

The BWF membership also passed proposals to include the chair of the Para-Badminton Athletes’ commission on the council.