How did GymBad come alive?
The Pacific Sports Project (PSP) was a ‘sport for development’ initiative launched by the Australian Government. It has since evolved into the ‘Team Up’ programme.
It originally started with the more popular sports in Australia (football, netball and rugby) and later incorporated other sports like badminton.
In 2017/18, there was an opportunity to do an innovation programme, so it teamed up with table tennis, which had chosen to focus on disability (a point of difference), to conduct a study on ‘how to reduce the barriers for peoples with disabilities in the Pacific’ and how to make sports programmes more inclusive.
The importance of smaller sports getting together to target particular audiences and share resources became a successful trend. GymBad was another product which offered a point of difference and a chance for sports to work together; gymnastics and badminton can be easily modified and are accessible to all.
This is complemented by the adapted Shuttle Time resources. Recently released by the BWF, they have a greater inclusivity element in the teacher’s manual and inclusivity guide for teachers. Now, during training, teachers are taught to teach the ways of making Shuttle Time/GymBad sessions more inclusive through developing inclusive practices, preparing for those with intellectual/physical/sensory impairments and adapting badminton to disabilities, communication and creativity.