Athletes' Commission

Representing Athletes Globally

Athletes’ Commission

The BWF Athletes’ Commission was established in 2008 and is made up of six members who are elected for a four year term. Half of these are elected in the year before the Olympic Games and the other half in the year after the Olympic Games.


Athletes Commission Elections 2017

From 26 April to 24 May 2017, there will be elections for three positions of the Athletes’ Commission. The elections will take place by email from 26 April 2017 and on one day – 24 May 2017 – players competing at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup can vote at the competition venue.

Please see the downloads above for the following:

  • 1) Letter from the Chair of the Commission about the elections.
  • 2) Profiles of the 9 candidates for election.
  • 3) Memo from the BWF on the process.
  • 4) Email Voting Form – for eligible voters who want to vote by email.
  • 5) Eligible Voters – List of Athletes who can Vote in the Election.


Nominations for the BWF Athletes’ Commission Elections closed at midnight on 27 March 2017. At the close of nominations, nine (9) valid nominations had been received – and these are (in alphabetical by the first name):

  1. Akville Stapusaityte – LIT
  2. Edwin Ekiring – UGA
  3. Koo Kien Keat– MAS
  4. Kirsty Gilmour – SCO
  5. Luis Ramon Garrido Esquivel – MEX
  6. Marc Zwiebler – GER
  7. Nikhar Garg – IND
  8. Pusarla V. Sindhu – IND
  9. Yoo Yeon Seong – KOR


Vacant Places

As per the letter from Yuhan Tan, the Chair of the Athletes’ Commission (linked here), there are three (3) vacant places for those Commission Members whose term expires in May.

One of the current Athletes’ Commission Members, Tang Yuanting, has resigned from the Athletes’ Commission, and under the rules (Linked here – see clause 9.3.7), this casual vacancy can be filled at the next election.

This means that there are in fact four (4) vacancies to be filled at the next election from the nine (9) candidates so nominated.

The fourth vacancy however – must be a female athlete to replace Tang Yuanting.


Determining the Result

Therefore in the elections, after all the votes are cast and the poll is closed, the winning candidates will be calculated as follows:

  1. the male with the highest number of votes
  2. the female with the highest number of votes
  3. the candidate (male or female) with the next highest number of votes

These three elected will serve a 4 year term.

And to replace the member who has resigned to complete the remaining 2 year term – this will be:

  1. the female candidate with the next highest number of votes once the process has finished to determine the above 3 positions.

Please see the rules regarding the voting, particularly clause 9.3.3 and clause 9.3.4 -those eligible to vote (linked here).


Eligibility to Vote

Clause 9.3.4 defines those who are eligible to vote – Those eligible to cast a vote must:

  • Be at least 19 years of age on the day they cast their vote.
  • Be in good standing with their Member Association.
  • Not serving a period of ineligibility with the BWF.
  • Be An active player as defined by:
  • Being on the top 200 of the first BWF World Ranking List published directly after the date the elections is called. (27 February 2017)
  • Or have competed in the most recent BWF World Championships (2015) or Olympic Games 2016 or the most recent World Team Championships for – the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2016



Aim of the Commission

The Athletes’ Commission aims is to represent the needs and views of athletes to the BWF Council and Committees. The Chair of the Athletes’ Commission is a voting member of the Council and has the responsibility to advise Committees and Council on matters relevant to athletes.

The objectives of the BWF Athletes’ Commission are:

  • To act as the official link between the players and the BWF;
  • To proactively consider issues relating to players and give advice to the BWF on player related matters;
  • To represent the rights and interests of the players to the BWF Council to ensure the athlete opinion is heard at the highest level of governance of Badminton;
  • To maintain contact and good relations with the IOC Athletes’ Commission.


The terms of reference detail the scope of  work for the Athletes’ Commission.


Membership of the Commission 

Yuhan Tan (2)

Yuhan Tan (BEL) – Chair – BWF Council Member

Yuhan was elected to the Commission for a 4-year term in 2013 and was selected by Athletes’ Commission in 2015 as the new Chair of the Commission. Yuhan has been a member of the Belgian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission since January 2013 and is a medical student of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Yuhan qualified and competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games together with his sister Lianne and aims to compete in Rio 2016. Yuhan’s highest ranking of 46 in the men’s singles was achieved in March 2012.

Koen Ridder -Sized

Koen Ridder (NED) – Vice Chair

A former Dutch international badminton player, Koen was elected to serve the Athletes’ Commission for a 4-year term in May 2015 and was chosen by the other members of the Commission to be the Vice Chair.

A doubles’ player, Koen won his first international title at the Portugal International 2007 and this was followed by the Belgian International title in 2009.

He achieved his personal best world ranking of 22 in 2013.  Koen retired in 2014 after representing The Netherlands for more than 10 years at an international level.

Greysia_Polii - sized

Greysia Polii (INA) – Commission Member

Greysia was elected to the Athletes’ Commission in 2013 and is one of Indonesia’s top doubles players with a current world ranking (December 2015) of three in women’s doubles.

A talented youth player and multi-medal winner at the 2004 BWF World Junior Championships, Greysia joined the Indonesian national team in 2003. Greysia and her partner, Jo Novita won the women’s doubles at the Indonesian National Championships.

The highlight of her career was winning the gold medal (WD) at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. Greysia is an Olympian and has a goal of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

HK_Vittingus- Sized

Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (DEN) – Commission Member

Elected to the Athletes’ Commission in 2013, Hans-Kristian started playing badminton at the age of five and won four national junior titles. After becoming a senior player in 2005, he won his first international title in November 2006.

With a highest ranking of eight in men’s singles, he was a semi-finalist at the 2012 BWF World Superseries Finals, quarterfinalist at the World Championships 2011, three times European Men’s Team Champion, one time European Mixed Team Champion and eight times winner of the Badminton Europe Circuit.

IKEDA Shintaro - sized

Shintaro Ikeda (JPN) – Commission Member

Elected in May 2015, Shintaro Ikeda started playing badminton when he was eight years old, encouraged by his father who was an avid badminton player.

Shintaro is a two time Olympian, competing in the men’s doubles with Shuichi Sakamoto in 2008 and in the mixed Doubles with Reiko Shiota at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The most significant achievement in his career was winning the bronze medal in men’s doubles category at the 2007 BWF World Championships.

China Open 2016

Saina Nehwal (IND) – IOC Athletes’ Commission

In October 2016 Saina Nehwal was appointed to the IOC Athletes’ Commission – a great honour for Saina and badminton.

Saina is a talented ambassador for badminton and a great talent in the sport. Saina won the gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and she also won the bronze medal in women’s singles at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Saina is undoubtedly a leading sports personality in India. In 2009, Saina was honoured with India’s highest award for sporting excellence – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. In the same year she was also awarded the Arjuna Award. In 2010 she received the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in India. And in 2016, the Government of India awarded Saina with the Padma Bhushan, the country’s 3rd highest civilian honour.

Sinah was named a BWF Integrity Ambassador in December 2016 and together with other ambassadors, promotes “clean and honest” badminton.