The Barbados Badminton Association [BBA] is hoping to have the sport being played in all schools across the island by 2018, says president Shari Hope.
Hope was speaking Friday morning during a closing ceremony held at the Barbados Community College for the first ever Shuttle Time Coaching Programme conducted by National Sports Council (NSC) coaches Caroline Vaughan and Mariama Eastmond along with president of West Coast Eagle Badminton Club, Reynold Rouse.
The five-day coaching programme was catered towards physical education teachers both at the primary and secondary level. Hope explained that the initiative stemmed from a Shuttle Time Programme conducted by the Pan American Federation sometime last year in Barbados to have local coaches trained and take the knowledge into various schools across the island through the respective games teachers.
“The Shuttle Time Clinic would have started with our Badminton World Federation where they had the initiative to have badminton played in all schools across the world. So they would have done the same for the Pan American region and we would have had a programme run last year by the Pan American Federation where they brought a tutor to coach our coaches. So what we are doing now is utilizing our coaches that would have been tutored to go into the schools and share the information,” Hope said.
She added the aim was to focus more on the practical aspect of the game in order for coaches to have the right techniques when coaching students. She said they were hoping to have the programme done three times a year and encouraged physical education teachers to sign up.
According to the president they are approximately 23 schools currently playing badminton in Barbados and the BBA was trying to expand those numbers to 50-plus when the new school year commences in September.
“We are realizing badminton is starting from secondary schools but we want them to start from primary schools where they have the correct coordination like footwork, so that when they get into secondary school they go on to the next level to compete,” Hope explained.
The BBA has received some much needed assistance from acting assistant director of sports at the NSC, Ryan Toppin, who said the sports council was pleased to help out in anyway it could.
“We play a major role in facilitating the various sporting disciplines having an opportunity to be represented across the island and children across the island have an opportunity to play these disciplines. Badminton is one of the disciplines that we do offer full time with two coaches. But with that being said it is not enough because there is still a big demand for the sport out there so Shuttle Time programmes like these are very important because they help subsidise what we do and in essence teaching the teachers to teach. So that would take some of the load off the sports council and allow the teachers to be in the schools pushing the sport even more,” Toppin said.
There were six physical education teachers who participated in the course with two from Daryl Jordan Secondary and one each from St George Secondary, Eagles Academy, Luther Thorne Primary and Eagle Hall Primary. They were given equipment for the continued development of the sport in their respective schools.