Keith Russell appointed interim chief executive of Badminton Scotland

Keith Russell has been named the interim chief executive of Badminton Scotland.

Keith Russell will take interim charge of Badminton Scotland. Picture: Submitted

Russell, who played a key role in Glasgow’s bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, takes charge of the organisation as it experiences its first major change in leadership in nearly forty years.

His predecessor Anne Smillie had been the longest serving chief executive at a UK-based sports governing body prior to her recent retirement.

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Russell has long been involved with badminton, having represented Scotland at junior level and served as national junior badminton coach for Sri Lanka in the 1980s.

His parents, Marjory and Alastair, were senior badminton internationalists while his two brothers, Bruce and Stewart, also represented Scotland at junior level.

He also helped secure the World Badminton Championship for Glasgow in 2017.

Russell, the father of Scotland rugby international Finn, said he was “delighted” to take up the role, adding: “It is a sport that I have had a very long personal and professional relationship with and I am looking forward to progressing a range of immediate and longer term matters.

“Badminton is a sport that has huge potential in Scotland and great people that are passionate about the sport.”

Badminton Scotland chairperson Ronnie Conway hailed Russell’s experience in leading sports governing bodies as the organisation goes through a period of transition, adding: “Life goes on and we are facing some urgent challenges and decisions at Badminton Scotland.

“We are delighted to have obtained the services of such a prominent and highly regarded figure with strong connections to our sport.”

Russell took temporary charge at Snowsport Scotland following a spell as director of domestic rugby with Scottish Rugby, but claimed he was unjustly sacked from the role in May last year.

Russell, who held one of the most senior executive roles with the sport’s governing body, accused former managers of serious employment law breaches including unfair dismissal, breach of contract and a failure to allow him to take, or be paid for, statutory holidays.

Russell successfully fought his dismissal, with Scottish Rugby choosing not to appeal the outcome.