December 4, 2020
The lack of facilities hindered the Fiji Badminton Association’s efforts to develop the sport in the country until the introduction of AirBadminton by BWF early this year.
It gave FBA the perfect opportunity to explore potential partners who had existing outdoor facilities and also to take badminton outdoors to a country renowned for its beautiful weather by incorporating the Shuttle Time Schools Programme.
During September’s Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) Training programme in Lautoka, FBA and Shuttle Time Fiji came into contact with the community from Koroipita (KP) via its two youth participants. KP is home to more than 1,000 residents and has an outdoor recreational centre big enough to cater for activities like AirBadminton.
FNSC and Shuttle Time Fiji saw the potential in KP and believed that Shuttle Time would create a positive influence in the lives of its kids and youth. An established town with accessibility to services, its inclusion ensures children there stay active and healthy despite the different challenges they face.
FNSC & Shuttle Time Fiji have been working with newly trained Shuttle Time Teachers to run Shuttle Time activities in the community. A mini Shuttle Time Festival was organised and turned out to be a success! More than 300 children participated and got to experience the fun game of badminton.
The set-up and structure of KP is strong and well-managed, allowing for ease of reporting and management of the Shuttle Time programme. KP is also a willing partner, with access to its centre for development and excellence to children wanting to seriously take up badminton. Recently, the KP management agreed to set up an AirBadminton Court and register a club under FBA.
Moving forward, the community is looking to engage with its National Paralympic Committee and also Special Olympics to promote badminton as an inclusive sport and incorporate people with disabilities (PWDs) into the Shuttle Time Schools Programme. FBA is also looking to have an MOU with KP to deliver weekly Shuttle Time activities and more AirBadminton games, run local competitions and train more certified Shuttle Time Teachers.
Pravneil Chand, Assistant Community Development Officer of Koroipita:
“We are blessed to have badminton as a sport to introduce to our kids – this allows more to participate and increases the number of kids engaged in sports. It creates an opportunity to choose the sport they prefer. Badminton is ideal as it is a very safe sport and has potential here in Koroipita.”