Ferry Sonneville

Ferry Sonneville
Born: 03 January, 1931 Died: 20 November, 2003

When Ferry Sonneville was elected the first Asian President of IBF in 1971 he was already a legend in badminton.

He was the captain and first string of the very first team of Indonesia to win the Thomas Cup in 1958. The Thomas Cup victory was a historic moment for his country which had only a few years earlier won independence, and a victory that truly evoked pride and confidence in the nation.

Moreover, Ferry Sonneville was heavily involved in the successful defense of the Thomas Cup in 1961 and 1964 and he won numerous International MS titles, both in Europe where he studied and in Asia in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, and he was runner-up in the 1959 All England.

IBF History

1960 elected to IBF Council

1966 elected VP of IBF

1971 elected President of IBF

Greatly respected on court for his touch and consistency and off-court for his diplomatic skills and initiative, Ferry Sonneville was an ideal choice as official and leader of the International Federation.

His language skills and university education (PhD in Economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam 1965) as well as his many years in Europe were valuable assets for the federation and for himself.

In 1962, Ferry Sonneville joined the IBF Council and in 1966 he became Vice-President.

Elected President in 1971, he strongly supported the Olympic ambitions of our game and he much appreciated to represent Badminton and the IBF at our first Olympic appearance as a Demonstration Sport in the 1972 Games in Munich.

In 1974, Ferry Sonneville passed the torch of the presidency to Stuart Wyatt of England.

Ferry Sonneville was a co-founder of the PBSI in 1961, with Dick Sudirman and Suharso Suhandinata, and also a founder member of the Indonesian Olympic Association KONI in 1966. He later served both PBSI (1981-85) and KONI as president.

Ferry Sonneville was a businessman, mainly in real estate both in Indonesia and abroad. 

He was also heavily involved in education and founded and served on the board of several institutions and foundations, including the Trisakti University, which he took initiative to establish.

For his service to the country, he received the Star Class III award from the president Suharto of Indonesia.

Ferry Sonneville was a born leader, organizer, academic and diplomacy was his strength.

He greatly contributed to Badminton, the game he loved.

-- By Torsten Berg

Sonneville best remembered as a graceful champion - badminton gazette march 1961 Ferry sonneville at 1982 all england Ferry sonneville - 1958 world invitation - picture by drummond young F sonneville at 1982 all england - pic by louis ross (l-r) dl bloomer, hf chilton, fa sonneville, s wyatt and s mohlin - 1982 all england - picture by louis ross Ferry sonneville (squatting 4th from l) with competitors of international matches in singapore a month before - badminton gazette december 1954 A young sonneville (centre) and his compatriots soon after winning the 1955 malayan cships - badminton gazette october 1955 F sonneville ennjoying 1982 all england with s mohlin, c reedie, and pe nielsen at wembley arena