Using the Youth Olympic Games as a catalyst, the BWF implemented a very ambitious youth engagement programme by organising a number of badminton activities before and during the Games in Buenos Aires.
In collaboration with the Argentinean Badminton Federation, and the Pan Am Badminton Confederation, pre-games development activities were delivered in local schools. School pupils got the opportunity to experience badminton for the first time through the Shuttle Time programme. Visits to schools also gave the opportunity to train PE teachers as Shuttle Time teachers – one of the key elements for the further development of the programme in their schools.
The in-competition badminton Sport Initiation Programme aimed to bring our sport to local youth and families who had the possibility to enjoy the Games in Buenos Aires. The badminton activation was delivered by a young and enthusiastic team at Tecnopolis Park, where the badminton competition was played. During the 10-day activation period more than 5.000 people engaged in the activation. “This exercise helped us connect directly with the young people, but also provided us a platform to connect with the masses and create general interest for our sport” said David Cabello – BWF Development and Sport for All Commission Chair.
The activation also had a very important guest. IOC President, Thomas Bach, enjoyed watching young participants at the badminton sport initiation programme during his visit to the Women’s Singles finals between Goh Jin Wei and Wang Zhiyi.
All the above initiatives were an excellent opportunity to ensure that school children and spectators had the chance to tangibly experience badminton, leave an outstanding badminton legacy to the local community and to inspire participants to look for opportunities to play badminton beyond their experience at Tecnopolis Park.
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Compared to the other regions in the world, Oceania faces unique challenges due to the remoteness, distance between countries and continents and difficulty in accessing resources. This creates several barriers to participation and challenges to aspiring players. However, opportunities such as