ONE NIGHT WITH STARS 2 – Songs and fun for a good cause

Fifteen top badminton players put on a second amazing show of sport and song to a crowd of over 1,200 spectators at the Queue d’Arve Hall, raising close to €8,000 for the charity Solibad – Badminton without Borders.

Fifteen top badminton players put on a second amazing show of sport and song to a crowd of over 1,200 spectators at the Queue d’Arve Hall, raising close to €8,000 for the – Badminton without Borders.

All photos: Franck Fuster/ http://webmalin.ch/

Do you now what Peter Gade and Suzanne Rayappan have in common? They play badminton, they are Solibad Ambassadors and they love music. And on Saturday night, they gave a stunning performance together when Peter took the guitar and Suzanne sang for a unique show in the world – a badminton “concert” with some of badminton’s former and current legends.

The Badminton Club Geneva, in cooperation with the City of Geneva and its Sports Department, as well as the Solibad association have jointly organized the second edition of “Solibad Night: One Night with Stars”.

To kick off the evening, Solibad Ambassador Peter Gade was greeted in the hall by a surprise – Suzanne Rayappan – one of England’s top women’s doubles players and a professional singer back in the UK, who introduced him to the public with “You will never walk alone” – a song dear to the Dane as it is the main song of his favourite football club, Liverpool.

Gade also had a surprise of his own when he picked up the guitar – an instrument he’s been playing for some time. He and Suzanne Rayappan, along with local singer Alenko wowed the crowd with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”.

Music has always played a very important role in my life and I am thrilled I could play with artists like Suzanne and Alenko. It was special – a challenge in a way – but I like challenges,” said the flawless Dane. The performance also featured a song from Alenko’s own album as well as one of Raya’s own songs, to which players Petr Koukal and Matthieu Lo Ying Ping danced like rappers.

Although this was the first time the legendary Dane has played an instrument in public, badminton was the reason why the over 1,000 spectators crowded the hall, and they had their money’s worth. Olympic champion and current president of Badminton Europe, Poul Erik Hoyer, teamed up with Gade against other legends Nathan Robertson and Wong Choong Hann for a beautiful match.

What a great evening in Geneva last night with Solibad, ‘One Night with stars II…many highlights on this evening, together with great players, volunteers and fans, all doing their best for Solibad…I don’t know about my level of guitar playing:) but I enjoyed it 🙂 Thank you all for your support for Solibad!” said Gade.

Other great shuttlers on stage included home favourites Nicole Schaller, Sabrina Jaquet paired against Agnese Allegrini and Anita Kaur for a women’s doubles match complete with break-dancing “Gangam Style” between sets. Indonesians Agung Ruhanda and Yohannes Hogianto showed off their high jump smashes, helped with another former great, Denmark’s Niels Kristian Kaldau.

During the 4-hour show, the best European players entertained the public with a special mention to Nathan Robertson, and Petr Koukal who had brought some spectators from Czech Republic. Matthieu Lo Ying Ping from France also delighted the public with his antics. The show’s finale was a match between Gade and Wong Choong Hann, with both players performing to a very high level of play in the second game, despite not practising much any more. Gade won 21-12, 26-24 but the score didn’t matter so much as the show of sport and entertainment.

“Coached by the stars” – Unique in the world

The next day, another unique feature awaited 40 lucky shuttlers.  For around US$120, all the stars would give them a coaching session, providing tips on different areas of their games – something that will be remembered by many as an amazing experience.

This is just amazing – one of my dreams come true,” said Jean Francois Buffin, who won his ticket through a contest and was ecstatic to be receiving coaching advice from Peter Gade, Nathan Robertson, Wong Choong Hann in the same session.

The players showed amazing spirit all through the event. “This is a great way to gather with old friends, have fun and help a good cause,” said Wong Choong Hann.

Solibad expects the weekend’s events raised more than €8,000 for its projects supporting children and widows affected by HIV/AIDS Uganda and a badminton program in Brazil for children from difficult backgrounds.

I’m really thrilled with the outcome of this second edition of One Night with Stars,” said Solibad President Raphael Sachetat. “The local organizers in Geneva have done a fantastic job. I’d like to thank the 70 volunteers, and the organizing committee, but also the Sports Bureau of the City of Geneva and the city itself for letting us use this amazing hall for the event. The players were fantastic and showed true ‘Solibad Spirit’. We will use this money very carefully, as always, and this time to fund our projects in Brazil and in Uganda.

Click here to watch the video

All images of the event are available here

The highlights of the event will be streamed soon on on Youtube and on Youtube

T-shirts of the event can be still brought online here

This is the same shirt that the players were wearing and is a limited edition.
(€5 will go to Solibad for each T-shirt sold; shipping available worldwide)

Follow Suzanne Rayappan’s website:
http://www.rayamusic.co.uk/news.html

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.