Shuttle Time Kiribati Pumped Up!

July 1, 2019

Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. It is the only island nation that exists in four different hemispheres. The total population is just over 100,000 with 90% living in South Tarawa, which is the main business area. Betio is a little town on South Tarawa. Young people, from 6 to 40, often get together in the evenings to play sport.

Kiribati in the world map.

One of the favourite sports in Kiribati due to its simplicity and availability of indoor courts is badminton. In June 2019, the BOC Regional Development Officer, Kum On Tarawa, visited the island to revive the sport and to create positive relationships with partners such as schools, NGOs, youth groups and government.

The visit was very short and strategic, the focus was to recruit the right people to run the grassroots and community development programme utilising the BWF Shuttle Time School Programme. The recruitment process involved conducting a Knowledge, Attitude & Practise (KAP) survey for the Kiribati Badminton Federation (KBF) to build a team of enthusiastic teachers to support the delivery of Shuttle Time programme in the country.

Newly trained BWF Shuttle Time Teachers from Kiribati.

Currently, certified BWF Shuttle Time Teachers from the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT), Bairiki Primary School, King George IV High School and youth volunteers of Betio have agreed to conduct weekly Shuttle Time activities for communities, schools and the elderly in the region. Teachers from KIT have made it part of their wellness programme every Wednesday.

Shuttle Time Teacher Location
Tabera, Totene & Taamoa Uaererei Betio Community, Primary Schools & Complex
Rigamoto & Tongobobo Kiribati Institute of Technology &  Betio Community
Bwere, Jason & Tekautu KGV High School & Special School Bikenibeu
Henry St Louis High School & Ambo Community
Children having fun experiencing the Shuttle Time activities.

To kickstart the programme, Badminton Oceania donated badminton kits to the local high school, Betio community and the KBF. The Kiribati National Olympic Committee is impressed with the amount of work done in a short period of time.

“BWF Shuttle Time revives Kiribati Badminton – ‘Te Mauri Te Raoi Te Tabomoa’ (Peace, Health & Prosperity). Let’s start a journey to seek potential gold medal athletes and it can happen only if we work together building a strong base,” said Kum On Tarawa, BOC Regional Development Officer.

“Thanks for coming to Kiribati to encourage the sport of badminton. The sports complex looks more alive with all those shuttlecocks flying in the air and kids having a lot of fun games,” said Bwere Tione, Shuttle Time National Coordinator of Kiribati.