Lockdown took its toll on sports in Oceania. However, the non-contact element of badminton quickly became the sport’s biggest strength.
Recognising this opportunity, Fiji Badminton created the Backyard Badminton initiative to keep kids active, healthy and safe during their imposed lockdown from May onwards.
The idea was created by a group of Shuttle Time teachers in Fiji. Through extensive planning, they were able to devise a structure that kept in line with restrictions, which included:
- Delivering in pairs
- Registering a maximum of 10 children per session
- A bucket of water and soap always available
- No sharing of rackets
Our final session today was planning and mapping. This allowed the Teachers to understand their community, its resources…
Posted by Fiji badminton on Wednesday, June 10, 2020
While keeping the kids fit and healthy, the campaign gave the kids a safe space to expend some energy in their garden and release any frustrations from being stuck inside.
“I love this since it allows me to balance my schoolwork and keeping active, healthy, and fit”, says junior player Esther Tuinamata.
Meanwhile, students from Kiribati and Papua New Guinea who were stranded in Fiji during the COVID-19 lockdown were also able to attend one of the Shuttle Time Teachers course to assist with delivery of Backyard Badminton and beyond, for when they return to their neighbouring countries.
"Its making it happen that Matters"Application of learning happening right now in Veisari- Lami.Great work today…
Posted by Fiji badminton on Thursday, June 18, 2020
The process has also been a useful tool for educating children to think more carefully about their hygiene and interactions during lockdown, pushing Shuttle Time teachers to rethink their usual delivery methods.
“The numbers were awesome and easy to manage”
“We had to prepare better for sessions and have each Teacher to understand allocated tasks so there is better flow in our delivery” say teachers from Veisari-Lami
As lockdown eases in Fiji, sporting facilities are opening up and gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed, making Shuttle Time a particularly valuable tool for communities.
“It is vital to let the kids play sport [post lockdown]…and also identify talents and build skills for each child now that sports is not allowed in schools”, says Saiasi Bose (from Fiji National Sports Commission)Division