The Barbados Badminton Association (BBA) is on a mission to get more students playing the sport and this morning the local governing body donated several pieces of equipment to schools
particularly those at the primary level.
President of the BBA Kevin Wood said during the presentation held this morning at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex that the equipment worth BDS$18, 000 was made possible through the Badminton World Federation and the Barbados Olympic Association capital works project.
“It feels good obviously to give equipment to schools so that they can carry on the legacy of the sport. The sport needs more people in it. The National Sports Council’s coaches chose seven primary schools, so that tells you where we are going, we want to target the young players,” Wood told Barbados TODAY.
“Badminton is one of the smaller sports in Barbados and because of that we want to get out there and into the schools, so persons would know about the sport.
We have been able to approve some funds through our international federation BWF where they have a grant for the development of badminton and also the Barbados Olympic Association through their capital works project,” Wood added.
The eight schools that received equipment are St. Bernard’s Primary, Charles F. Broome Primary, St. Alban’s Primary, Blackman and Gollop Primary, Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary, Sharon Primary, St. Gabriel’s School and Daryl Jordan Secondary School.
Each school received ten racquets, three tubes of shuttles, a net and a pair of poles. A special donation of ten racquets and two tubes of air badminton shuttles were also presented to the deputy director of the National Sports Council (NSC) Emmerson Bascombe.
Wood is hoping that the NSC would look into adding at least one more coach to its roster. They currently have longstanding coach Caroline Vaughn and Mariama Eastmond.
“We would like to have more schools involved in badminton but that means that the National Sports Council will have to give us at least one more coach on their roster.
“They currently only have two coaches on their roster and those coaches are stretched right now. So if we can get one more coach on the sports council roster that would be great for us. Then we can reach out to more schools,” Wood explained.
During the presentation Vice-president of the BBA Dionne Haynes was also in attendance and Wood encouraged the schools to utilize the equipment as much as possible.
The last time BBA made presentations to the schools was four years ago. The BBA president stressed that it was important people got involved in some sporting activity to fight non-communicable disease which is a growing concern on the island.
“So the equipment is here for the schools to utilise. Obviously not to get them and put them in the cupboard or whatever the case may be. Let the children enjoy the equipment, make sure they treat the equipment well so that we can see some future national champions down the road,” he stated.
Physical education teacher at Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary Alphonso King said they were thankful for the equipment.
“We are always happy that organisations are willing to donate equipment so that the children can improve in their various skills. We have some children there who like badminton and this equipment would go a long way in assisting them,” King said.
He also noted that the school was hoping that things would return to normal soon so that the children would be able to use the equipment.
Dwane Francis of Blackman and Gollop Primary also shared the same sentiments saying, “It feels good to receive this donation. At our school the number is really high. So, we have a lot of students who are interested in participating in the program but not enough equipment, so this would be added help.”
Wood also encouraged other schools that have an interest in playing badminton to reach out to the BBA and they will see how best they can facilitate them with equipment.