Last weekend, the “2021 Topline Family Fun Day” took place in Fiji – a #VoiceAgainstViolence initiative which uses sport to promote peace and harmony among the community and prevent violence against women and children.
Organised by the Fiji Police and NRL, the invite was extended to other sporting codes to collaborate and amplify the message, including Badminton Fiji. This isn’t the first time Badminton Fiji has joined forces with the NRL to raise awareness, as they joined a training session in May 2020 to learn how to better identify and approach complex issues surrounding domestic violence.
The day of sporting festivities took place in the Nabua community. This was also part of the local police force safety response to help combat crime and turf wars in the area, while raising the awareness of sports in the local community. Besides Badminton, there were other sports such as Basketball and Volleyball, marches, live band performances, eating race competitions, tug of war and more – to engage the wider community.
Four of Badminton Fiji’s Shuttle Time crew attended the event to help out with running fun games for beginners and teaching the basics with the utilization of Shuttle Time resources and the introduction of Air Badminton too.
In order to be a part of a positive change, Badminton Fiji did their part in stepping up and taking action to make a difference with simple and basic Shuttle Time trainings. This was to allow them to educate the community and build meaningful connections with people through the introduction of Badminton. One of the messages was that it only takes one voice such as our own voice to stand up and take action against domestic violence.
“Sports definitely has the power to bring people together, we have been blessed with the opportunity to work with NRL-Fiji, Fiji Police, and Fiji National Commission on Saturday to engage the Nabua Top line community. The ‘Family Fun Day” focuses on creating a fun and safe environment for the families. It was a beautiful sight to see mums, dads kids, and grandparents hit those shuttles yesterday. We managed to serve 100 plus kids and put smiles on their faces with our fun games, our volunteers enjoyed the fact that they are able to join the fight against all forms of violence.”
– Monte’s thoughts on the Shuttle Time Fiji workforce
Thus, the 2021 Topline Family Fun Day objectives were to use the powerful reach of sports and entertainments, high-profile athletes and celebrities to assist the community to stand up and acknowledge that violence still exists in Fiji and that communities can take a better stand against violence.
Written by Alex Deng, Badminton Oceania