By Emily Goddard

The BWF's first President, Sir George Thomas, is also its longest serving leader to date, having held the position for 21 years ©BWFThe Badminton World Federation (BWF) is celebrating its 80th year in operation.

The world governing body was founded at a meeting of its inaugural members - Canada, Denmark, England, France, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales - on Thursday July 5, 1934 after the Badminton Association of England invited the nations to meet to establish an international organisation that would be responsible for the laws and control of all aspects of the sport.

The meeting took place at 10.30am at the Conference Room, Centre Block, Bush House, London and saw Sir George Thomas elected as the Federation's first President.

He led the organisation for 21 years - the longest term of any BWF President to date.

The Badminton World Federation was founded on Thursday July 5, 1934 ©BWFThe Badminton World Federation was founded on Thursday July 5, 1934 ©BWF

"This is a really important milestone for the BWF," said BWF President and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Poul-Erik Høyer.

"I would like to acknowledge and thank all those who contribute to the sport globally on a daily basis, and who have made our sport what it is today.

"I wish to thank our 180 members - our national governing bodies for badminton - and the BWF Council for the guidance they give to the BWF and our staff for the effective day-to-day management of the BWF.

"I am incredibly proud of BWF's achievements over the years, particularly of what has been achieved in the last five years.

"The period since the 2008 Beijing Olympics has been the most significant period of growth and development in the BWF's 80 year history.

"BWF's position in the international sports world - and indeed its increasing status - is something of which we should all be proud and I am sure our forefathers would be also."

Shuttling Through 80 Years looks back at some of the biggest moments in the BWF's history ©BWFShuttling Through 80 Years looks back at some of the biggest moments in the BWF's history ©BWF

To mark its historic anniversary, the BWF has released a special timeline, Shuttling Through 80 Years, which acts as a pictorial flashback of the key moments in badminton history over the last eight decades, including being added to the Olympic programme in 1992.

Høyer said landmarks such as these are "not only times to reflect on the past but even more importantly on the journey ahead and to recommit ourselves to the work that needs to be done", like the sport's campaign to be added to the Paralympic Games programme for Tokyo 2020.

"I am honoured to represent a sport for all and may the BWF and badminton grow from strength to strength," he added.

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