# Badminton Asia president Anton Subowo meets HH Pope Francis
# First for Badminton Asia
By Rizal Abdullah
Badminton Asia scored a historic first for the sport in the holy city of Vatican on 24th June 2016 when its president Anton Aditya Subowo was met by His Holiness Pope Francis – the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
To mark the historic occasion, which was at the invitation of the Vatican City, Anton Aditya Subowo presented His Holiness the Pope with a badminton racquet. This is the first time HH the Pope was introduced to the sport in the history of Badminton Asia.
The historic occasion came with a strong message the sports can transcend religion and ethnicity as HH the Pope strongly believes that sports can make changes to the world.
The leader of the Catholic Church was quoted sometime in January this year in Sports Business Journal that he is putting his faith in the power of sports to bring about social changes. Other than education, he believes that sports can narrow the gap of income disparity. Hence, it was timely that Anton Subowo to have this meeting at the Vatican City.
Anton Subowo, who is also the secretary-general of the PBSI (Indonesian Badminton Federation), took the opportunity to speak to HH the Pope about the role of Badminton Asia and of its plans to promote badminton and how Badminton Asia wants to make the racquet game a sport for all.
More importantly the meeting drove home a strong message that sports unites and transcends religion and ethnicity.