Making Badminton Accessible in Guam

September 23, 2019

Badminton is now officially recognised as a sport under Special Olympics Guam’s (SOG) programme. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to this effect between SOG and Guam National Badminton Federation (GNBF) on 24 August 2019.

Both parties agreed to make badminton a sport for children – those with and without intellectual disability (ID).

Pictured from left are Frank Florig, president and CEO of Special Olympics Guam, Sandra Low, president of the Guam National Badminton Federation, Li, and Ian Piencenaves. Photo: Jojo Santo Tomas/PDN)

To encourage more children to play the sport in schools and communities in Guam, two BWF Shuttle Time Teacher courses were conducted in Dededo on August 24, 25 and 31 by Ian Piencenaves, Badminton Asia Regional Development Officer. Around 15 volunteers from Special Olympics Guam, school teachers, parents and from the military service (US Coast Guard and US Air Force) were trained to deliver badminton activities to ID children using the BWF Shuttle Time Schools Programme’s resources.

Participants were taught to understand proper ways to manage children in large groups and to consider the children’s abilities while conducting certain activities. Eighteen children and adults, aged between 8 and 28 and with intellectual disability, were involved in the practical sessions where participants delivered the programme from the lesson plan. Participants found the activities useful enough to be incorporated in their outreach programmes.

Children were taught the proper gripping technique.

Following the conduct of the courses, SOG has scheduled regular training sessions every Monday and Friday for their athletes to prepare them for the SOG Badminton Competition (specific badminton skill, singles and doubles with integrated partners) which will be held on 12 October 2019 in JFK High School, Guam.

Also, to encourage better participation at school level, badminton demonstrations were staged during school visits; the demonstrations used Shuttle Time resources which allowed school children the opportunity to learn and to develop a positive experience about the sport.

“This programme from BWF is very accessible; even volunteers develop instant confidence on delivering badminton activities to children.” – Sandra Low, President of Guam National Badminton Federation.

“It is my pleasure to be here and help guide educators and the volunteers as well as having a session with the children. This is all about making the sport of badminton accessible for everyone.” – Ian Piencenaves, Badminton Asia Regional Development Officer.