It is the end of an era for Badminton Oceania as Nadia moves on from her role as Development Manager as she has relocated to live in Hobart, Australia. During her time with Badminton Oceania, Nadia has seen and been a part of significant changes within the organisation. From initially moving the office from Wellington to Auckland, she has seen an increase in staff from being the only full-time employee, to the present day where Badminton Oceania employs five full time, and three part time staff and oversees a number of programs and initiatives that develop and grow badminton in the region.
Nadia was responsible for implementing Shuttle Time to our member countries and gaining significant funding through the Australian Sport for Development programme to develop badminton in Tonga and Papua New Guinea.
Julie Carrel, Secretary General of Badminton Oceania reflects on Nadia’s journey. “Nadia has been the longest serving staff member of BOC; during her time with us there has been significant change and progress in the area of development with Nadia being the key driver. During her time with us Nadia has visited most of our member countries and is well known and respected for her enthusiasm and connection to the Pacific region. We thank Nadia for the invaluable work that she has done and achieved and wish her all the best for her future endeavours.”
We sat down with Nadia to discuss her achievements, memories, challenges, and thoughts for the future.
What have been your greatest achievements?
Obviously this has been a big part of my journey as the Badminton World Federation was in the initial stages of delivering this initiative when I began in the role. I believe Shuttle Time is one of the best introductory sports programs as it is designed for children to experience success through intrinsic learning at their own level of ability. Shuttle Time is all about success, fun and creating a positive experience of badminton to meet the Badminton World Federation vision of “giving every child the chance to play for life”. It has been a joy to see the Shuttle Time workforce grow to over 80,000 participants annually in recent years.
Australian Sport for Development
Utilising the Shuttle Time programme for badminton to gain entry to the Australian Government funded Sport For Development program has been a big win for badminton in the region. After a lengthy application process badminton joined the Pacific Sports Partnership in 2013, with delivery of Shuttle Time in Tonga to encourage healthier and more inclusive communities through sport. The Pacific Sports Partnership and the partnership with the Tongan Ministry of Education saw large numbers of children involved in badminton.
In 2020 the Pacific Sports Partnership transitioned to Team Up, and badminton applied for a program in Papua New Guinea in conjunction with gymnastics. Inclusive GymBad is the only Team Up program with two sports collaborating, and along with health specialist partners Interplast, we give opportunities to women, girls, and people with a disability to participate and become leaders in GymBad. I am especially proud of the excellent team we have in Port Moresby. Laurel Vagi & Joyce Koiari lead a team whose work delivers positive impacts on many participants’ lives.
What are your most memorable moments?
Memorable moments for me are always when people are together face-to-face and able to share experiences together.
Some of these times include:
- workshops and trainings where we’ve made great progress upskilling and learning together.
- seeing teachers experience the joy of learning badminton for the first time through the Shuttle Time programme.
- experiencing Gender Equity, Disability & Inclusion training with the GymBad team in Port Moresby.
- Events – Oceania Champs & especially the Pacific Games; seeing many athletes competing & enjoying the spirit of the Games together.
- Badminton World Federation Annual General Meeting gatherings.
- ONOC & OSFO assembly gatherings.
- Country visits, getting to meet local workforce and people in the community.
Are there any situations you feel that challenges have been overcome?
I was happy to see Cook Islands come full circle in 2023 with their debut at the World Junior Championships. Cook Islands re-established their badminton association in 2011. Through a commitment to planning and focussing on development of their young athletes, through the delivery of Shuttle Time, they have made great strides. Progressively stepping through player development and competitions from AIMS Games to VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships, Thomas Mereana-Ngauru and the team at Cook Islands Badminton Association have guided their young players through to their first international competition, outside of the region, at the World Junior Championships in 2023.
Any words for Member Associations and their future?
Please get on-board with planning!! Create a simple athlete-focused plan & use the opportunities available to you. If you can align your team and have clarity around what you want to achieve and why, then it makes achieving the how, where and when much more straightforward. There is a lot of support available to you through Badminton Oceania and the Badminton World Federation and by aligning your plans, it will make it easier to access support. With the 2027 Pacific Games on the horizon, I hope more countries implement their plans towards taking part.
What is next for Nadia?
I’ll be home for Christmas and enjoy a bit of my favourite AirBadminton in the front lawn with family of course!!
I plan to enjoy my first summer in Hobart & exploring Tasmania, before embarking on my next challenge…