Badminton New Zealand is pleased to announce the calendar of events for 2022, with an exciting range of events as we look to bounce back from a disrupted season in 2021.

The season begins early with a couple of special Badminton New Zealand Summer Series events at the end of January and beginning of February. These fun events celebrate the return of badminton and are focussed towards our Under 15 and Under 19 players, whose season was unfortunately cut short before they had the chance to play in their National Championships.

Sanctioned events get underway on the first weekend of March, with a total of 42 events scheduled throughout the year, including five Masters' sanctioned events, which form part of the calendar for the first time ever. These events will all contribute towards vital National ranking points, which will prove useful for team events and National Championships later in the year.

2022 also sees the introduction of the NZ Tour - a series featuring the Waikato Open, North Harbour Open, Wellington North Open, Canterbury Open, and National Championships - which will see players vying for a top-8 finish in the tour rankings to qualify for the NZ Tour Finals.

National Championships visit a few new locations in 2022, with Masters being held in Queenstown, Seniors in Auckland, the combined u15 and u19 event in Tauranga, and the combined u13 and u17 event in North Harbour. Junior Team Championships remain in Manawatu, while the Wisden and Slazenger Cups move to Canterbury in the Zhu Badminton Centre.

At an international level, we are pleased to see the Australian Open and New Zealand Open scheduled for late November, as well as the new Oceania Masters event. We also expect to see the addition of several lower-level international events within the Oceania region towards the end of the year.

Update 22 December: Following the postponement of the Oceania Senior Championships and cancellation of the Oceania Junior and Team events, the calendars below have been updated.

Badminton New Zealand regrets to announce that the upcoming National Under 15s, Under 19s and Masters Championships have been cancelled, due to the ongoing restrictions across the country.

These events all required that the whole country was in Alert Level 2 or lower, with domestic travel and large indoor gatherings permitted. As previously advised, Badminton New Zealand set dates for each event by which this criteria must be met in order to proceed, in order to strike a balance between giving as much notice as possible for participants, while also allowing the best chance for these events to go ahead.

Unfortunately, the discovery of new cases in the Waikato region over the weekend, and the extension of Level 3 restrictions in Auckland, means that this criteria will not be met by the decision date for each event, and therefore we are forced to cancel each event.

We understand that this will be disappointing news for the hundreds of players who have been training hard in their bubbles and were looking forward to competing in October, and equally we are disappointed that we cannot run these events.

If you had entered to play in any of these events, please check your email for further information, or contact the event director as below:

Sanctioned Events

Unfortunately, the latest extension of restrictions also impacts several sanctioned events that were postponed into October. The following events are also cancelled:

Please contact the event organiser if you require any further information on these sanctioned events.

Experienced Leader Stephen Nelson has been named as the incoming Chief Executive at Badminton New Zealand, taking over from departing Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock.

Badminton New Zealand Board Chair, John Moody, says Nelson’s passion, experience and knowledge are a great fit to continue the organisation’s strong growth and innovation to inspire more kiwis to love badminton for life.

“The appointment of Stephen is a great result. His experience as a leader, strategic thinker and communicator, combined with his knowledge of community badminton, means he is ideally suited to take on this complex role.

“He joins Badminton New Zealand at a very exciting time. The organisation has just been named as part of the next wave of Sport New Zealand’s Strengthen and Adapt programme; we are looking forward to hosting the World Junior and Senior Badminton Championships in 2024 and 2025; and the badminton community are continuing to come together to build more and more quality experiences for everyone in badminton here.

“The Board felt Stephen understands the opportunities and the challenges for the sport, and he shares the desire to see the game thrive at all levels,” says Moody.

Nelson brings strong leadership, management, and governance experience. He was the Chief Executive of a company that operated three Mitre 10 MEGA home improvement stores in Wellington with more than 300 staff and around $100 million in revenue. Most recently Nelson has led a mid-sized commercial construction company and doubled its revenue through strategic planning combined with business and financial acumen. Well known in the badminton community, Nelson is an active masters player and has previously served as the Badminton Wellington Board Chair as well as a Badminton New Zealand Board Member and Co-Chair.

Nelson says he is thrilled to be offered the opportunity and is eager to continue on from the success that Hitchcock has established.

I am delighted to be able to contribute further to the badminton community in New Zealand. I love the sport and am excited to pick up and carry on with the great work that Joe, the Badminton New Zealand team and the wider badminton community have already completed.

With current Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock departing on 29 October, General Manager Donna Trow will act as interim Chief Executive until Nelson starts the role on 31 January 2022.

Stephen Nelson will join Badminton New Zealand from 31 January 2022
Nelson has been actively involved as a masters player, and serving on the boards of Badminton Wellington and Badminton New Zealand
Michelle Au takes on a new role as the Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Badminton New Zealand

Badminton New Zealand’s recent internal restructure saw the creation of a new Diversity and Inclusion Manager role. The position takes responsibility for the organisation’s focus on para badminton, diverse communities and Asian engagement, girls and gender equity initiatives. 

Michelle Au transitions into the Diversity and Inclusion Manager role with her strong experience in para badminton, gender equity and digital campaigns. Michelle has been actively involved in the growth of para badminton in the Australia and New Zealand region over the last five years, at both a community, national and international level.

Alongside the para badminton development, Au has led numerous digital campaigns for events including the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton League and New Zealand Open. Michelle’s recent appointment as chair of the Badminton Oceania Gender Equity committee shows this new role to be a good fit for her.

“I love how my role has transformed throughout my time at Badminton New Zealand, and with the support of our team and the wider badminton community, this is a step in an exciting direction,” says Au.

General Manager, Donna Trow will work closely with Au to deliver on many of these initiatives.

“It’s great to see Badminton New Zealand be in the position to create a role like this and follow in the footsteps of Sport New Zealand. We look forward to strengthening the current partnerships, and creating new connections as we learn and grow this area.”

Michelle Au commenced her new role as Diversity & Inclusion Manager on September 1st. She is contactable via michelle@badminton.org.nz

Badminton New Zealand is excited to announce changes to our staff and structure that will better position the organisation for continued success. Following the new strategic plan, the changing landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resignation of Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock, these changes will help future proof the organisation.

We also have factored in the resignation of Community Manager Brent Miller who is heading overseas in early 2022. Badminton New Zealand would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to Brent who has done an amazing job in his role over the last three years, and through his involvement in our performance coaching space over the last six years. Brent will leave huge shoes to fill as he has done so much not only for Badminton New Zealand, but for the Associations he has worked closely with and the wider badminton community and players across New Zealand.

New organisational structure of Badminton New Zealand
The new Badminton New Zealand organisational structure.

Key to the change in Badminton New Zealand’s structure is the newly created General Manager role that will oversee the operational planning, monitoring and reporting functions of the organisation's deliverables with key stakeholders. It will ensure high-quality delivery is maintained and that the organisation is better aligned to achieve outcomes for the community. It will also provide a better opportunity for the new Chief Executive to focus on Badminton New Zealand’s strategy, external opportunities and continuing the growth of impact of the organisation. Donna Trow will step into the General Manager role from the 1st October 2021 and Badminton New Zealand is delighted that she will extend her leadership and management skills into this important new role.

Badminton New Zealand are currently scoping the development components that need to be covered and this will likely form a new position or contract with a focus on the coaching space.

Current Events Manager Sam Paterson will move into the Community Manager’s role from the 1st January 2022 and this will be a great opportunity for Sam to utilize his strong connections with Associations and grow his skill set in organisation and workforce capability and capacity building. Jonathon Stone will then lead the Events Team and manage newly appointed staff and contractors linked to delivering our national events and competitions.

Badminton New Zealand have already announced that Michelle Au has shifted into the new Diversity and Inclusion Manager’s role where she will lead an extension of our work in the para badminton, gender equity, Asian engagement and general diversity and inclusion space.

There will be consistency with Performance Manager / National Coach Rikke Olsen Siegemund and Office Manager Colleen Van de Laar staying in their positions with minimal change to their roles. The newly appointed Chief Executive will then join the organisation following the recruitment process which is in progress now. Badminton New Zealand will provide further information regarding these changes the organisational structure, and the new roles and responsibilities of all the team over the next few months.

New Zealand’s highly anticipated inaugural para badminton event, the SKY SPORT Para Invitational Cup, due to take place in Christchurch in mid-September, has been postponed.

The event organisers made the decision to postpone the event in light of the current COVID-19 situation in the eastern states, and the New Zealand Government’s suspension of the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

“We really believe this event will be a quality experience on the calendar for both Australian and New Zealand athletes,” says Event Director Michelle Au.

To ensure a healthy competition, we wanted as many athletes as possible to be able take up this opportunity. With the trans-Tasman travel bubble currently closed, we felt it was in the best interests of our players and the event to postpone. We are very grateful to our stakeholders and sponsors for supporting this change of date.

The SKY SPORT Para Invitational Cup, which was developed in partnership with Paralympics New Zealand, Badminton Canterbury and SKY Sport, will remain in Christchurch and take place on the new dates of 25th to 28th November 2021. The event will provide quality competition to both Kiwi and Australian para-athletes, along with offering national classification and a finals-day live stream.

Badminton New Zealand looks forward to welcoming para-athletes and spectators from around New Zealand and Australia in November.

For more information, contact:
Michelle Au
Badminton New Zealand
michelle@badminton.org.nz
021 191 1625

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