ONE NIGHT WITH STARS – Huge success in Geneva

Korea’s former and young legends Lee Yong Dae and Park Joo Bong played together for the first time ever in an evening of incredible fun in Geneva, where Solibad  Badminton […]

Korea’s former and young legends Lee Yong Dae and Park Joo Bong played together for the first time ever in an evening of incredible fun in Geneva, where   Badminton without borders held its first “One Night with Stars”.

Photos (live): Badmintonphoto

Nathan Robertson and Peter Gade had the same idea right after coming off court, on Monday, in Geneva: launch the idea for next year and do an even bigger show. Obviously, the two famous European shuttlers had a blast during this unique show mixing badminton and , united together in an extraordinary evening with all benefits going to the foundation Solibad – Badminton without Borders.

Some 1,000 people showed up – a rare thing for a Monday night in Geneva – for this amazing event, showcasing some of the world’s top stars: Peter Gade, Nathan Robertson, Pi Hongyan, Mathias Boe, Lee Yong Dae, Simon Santoso, Hans Kristian Vittinghus, Agnese Allegrini, Jeanine Cicognini and, as a special guest, Park Joo Bong.

The Korean legend, 47 and now head coach of the Japanese Badminton Association showed on court that he had not lost his amazing touch as he was clearly coping with the pace imposed by Boe and Robertson on the other side of the net. The 1992 Olympic champion – known to be one of the best all-around players of all time – was teaming up with Korea’s new jewel – and also Olympic champion as well – Lee Yong Dae for a game which will remain in the minds of the spectators – a mixture of fun and very high level badminton. It was the first time ever that the two Korean legends had played with each other. Nathan Robertson, Mathias Boe and Lee Yong Dae clearly enjoyed the match as well as Park Joo Bong.

Earlier on, Peter Gade had put on an amazing show against Simon Santoso, playing around the court but also delivering an intense match, before he played with some people in the public and offering his racket for a unique draw. He and his friend Hans-Kristian Vittinghus played a trick on the audience which made everyone laugh. Peter Gade was kind enough to share some of his secret shots amongst which a unique trick at the net which he performed perfectly on the first attempt, with a shuttle fed by Pi Hongyan, France’s sweetheart and former World Championship bronze medallist of the on top of her volunteer job as a Global Ambassador for Solibad.

More than 10 000 euros collected

Local artists POL – Made in Antigel – who provided the spectators with a unique “Badminton Soundsystem” show and two other artists – Alenko and Jeremie Kissling – gave the public a great way to relax after the laughter for an evening which will be remembered by many, amongst which officials from the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, the AOISF (Associations of International Olympic Summer Sports), and ambassadors in Geneva who showed a real generosity for the causes of Solibad- Badminton without Borders.

After a quick first look up at the figures, more than 10 000 euros were collected from the entrance fees and sales of Solibad shirts and player’s items. This figure is likely to go up as a 90 minutes program with the “best of” the evening will be on a pay per view channel ( distributed all over the world from March 22nd, with all benefits going to Solibad as well.

This money will be used very meticulously for the ongoing projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Haiti, Mauritius, and the two new projects in Vietnam and Brazil.

“This was just an amazing evening, both in terms of level of play and atmosphere. People who were not badminton fans – who had not even heard about the sport – came out of this evening with a twinkle in their eyes. And the players had as much fun as we did, which was also our target,” said Solibad President Raphael Sachetat.

Bajoe Wibowo, president of the organizing committee, was very happy about the outcome of the evening as well. “We are all very happy. It was a great challenge and thanks to all the help from the city of Geneva, our sponsor Yonex, and all the other generous contributors to this evening, we were able to make a difference and bring badminton to another level,” said the Indonesian.

The event was held in the Queue d’Arve Velodrome, Geneva, on Monday March 14th.

Online video available on-demand from Totalsports.Tv from March 22nd HERE
US$4.79 for the whole show.

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.