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Shuttle Time Badminton Programme underway in Guyana

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By Avenash Ramzan 

Local badminton has been given a massive shot in the arm with the hosting of the first-ever Badminton Shuttle Time Programme, an initiative that could finally kickstart the Guyana Badminton Association’s long-term plan to have the racquet sport prominently in schools.

The programme, which falls directly under the Badminton World Federation (BWF), is geared to make badminton the most popular sport in schools globally.

It’s quite a simple method; it’s premised on educating Physical Education teachers to conduct badminton lessons. The three-day course, which opened on Friday morning at the Guyana Olympic Association boardroom, is being conducted by Jamaican Richard Wong. Wong, who is a BWF Shuttle Time Tutor and Coach, told News Room Sport that the programme is not in-depth and is not structured to make the teachers coaches.

“We want to make the lessons fun, safe and have the kids experience success from the very beginning, and the Shuttle Time has been instrumental in that. The Shuttle Time Programme has been implemented in various countries across the Caribbean (such as) Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados (and) Suriname, just to name a few, and it’s actually helped in promoting the sport because it gets, as I said, teachers, P.E teachers or even regular teachers to teach a badminton lesson,” Wong explained.

P.E teachers pay rapt attention during Friday’s session

Wong indicated that all the necessary resources will be provided to the teachers, two dozens of whom have been registered for the programme.

“The programme is very simple; all the resources have been provided for the teachers so basically when a teacher takes a Shuttle Time course and decides to implement the programme all they have to do is go back to their school, look in the resources we give them free and just decide what lessons they want to teach,” Wong pointed out.

The target group is Primary and Secondary school teachers, and while the aim is to introduce children aged 5-15 to badminton, the programme can be adapted to any setting, Wong indicated.

“If you have a community centre where you want to implement badminton, you can carry the Shuttle Time Programme there and have the programme up and running in various communities. You can carry it to your churches, your community centres, your schools. In Suriname we actually worked with an orphanage and they now run the Shuttle Time Programme within the orphanage,” Wong intimated.

Shuttle Time is the first such programme to be hosted in Guyana, and it came to fruition following Guyana Badminton Association president Gokarn Ramdhani making representation at the BWF’s AGM in Gold Coast, Australia, last May.

“It’s going to be a very good course for Guyana, especially for the teachers training the children for CSEC. It is also a basic programme to help us with the development plan for badminton in Guyana because now the teachers will be assisting us to get up the players and then we get them out into the areas and the teams and clubs we would want them to go,” Ramdhani asserted.

The Badminton Association, over the years, has been clamouring for the sport to be prominent in schools nationwide, and Ramdhani believes the hosting of the Shuttle Time Programme is a positive step in that direction.

“Because we’ve tried implementing badminton in a lot of schools for the past 7-8 years; we donated racquets, shuttlecocks and nets…we did programmes for them but nobody never followed up. So now that we get the P.E teachers, I hope this is a better way to get it more developed,” Ramdhani revealed.

Guyana is now the 106th country where the Shuttle Time Programme has been introduced. The programme, which involves both theoretical and practical sessions, will conclude on Sunday (June 25) when certificates will be issued to the participants.

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