Meet Danny Ten, a Papua New Guinean national Para badminton athlete who is actively promoting disability inclusion through the sport of badminton.
As a coach with Badminton Papua New Guinea (PNG), Danny helps to deliver the Inclusive GymBad program, supported by Team Up, which uses a modified version of badminton and gymnastics to help remove barriers experienced by people with disabilities, particularly women and girls, so they can participate fully and excel through sport.
Danny, who now inspires those who participate in the inclusive program, credits the sport of badminton for changing his life.
“Before joining badminton, I was not a sportsperson, and I was mostly confined at home due to an accident. I had a lot of hate especially to those that had done me wrong. I had lost hope in life. But all that changed after I met badminton coach, Kinivanagi Karo, through a friend at the Cheshire Disability Home.
“Kinivanagi inspired me to take up the sport. I did, and it was the best decision I have made. This sport helped me to find hope again and I even went on to represent PNG at the Victor Oceania Badminton Championships in 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.”
As a coach for the Inclusive GymBad program, Danny helps to deliver sessions three times a week. As well as promoting inclusiveness, he highlights how the program is having a positive impact amongst adults in his community, who are often addicted to gambling.
“Now as a coach, I love my job and I run my sessions with so much pride because this sport changed my life.
“I do not mind running more sessions, as long as I see more people engaged in the program and they enjoy it as much as I do.
“Inclusive GymBad is an amazing program. Adults in my community usually spend most of their time gambling but, when this program came, it changed their engagement habits. They found this program to be a good distraction from gambling and it keeps them active and fit.
“Parents in the community are very supportive of this program, and so they also encourage their children to get involved, because it keeps them occupied as well.
“Through this sport I feel I can do anything despite my disability. Getting involved and giving it a try is what I can say to encourage others. You never know until you get involved.
“If I had to choose one word to describe the program it would be ‘happiness’. That’s because, everyone is happy, and they have smiles on their faces when they take part in the program”, says Danny Ten.
The Inclusive GymBad program is delivered in partnership by Badminton Oceania Confederation, Badminton Papua New Guinea, Motivation Australia, Oceania Gymnastics Union and Papua New Guinea Gymnastics Federation, and is supported by Team Up.