Pictured: Callum Dunk teaching Shuttle Time in Port Lincoln
Four years ago, badminton was a foreign sport to Callum Dunk. Nowadays, he is a qualified BWF Level 1 coach, Shuttle Time Teacher and works as the Development Officer and Schools Coordinator for South Australia Badminton Association.
Callum’s enthusiasm and experience in grassroots participations spans a wide range of sports, including football, netball, cricket and basketball. However, the last three years has been filled with opportunities which helped him to find a new love for the world’s fastest racket sport.
In 2019, he was involved with the South Australia International 2019 – his first time watching international badminton. However, it is the ability to get kids active and “seeing the wide smiles” while playing badminton which inspires him to continue with grassroots sports. In his role, he is able to share his passion for the sport with children across the South Australia, both rural and regional.
Living in a country which is larger than Europe, regional delivery can prove complicated, yet rewarding for Callum. Earlier this year, he travelled to Port Lincoln (650km from Adelaide) and Port Augusta (320km away from Adelaide) working with 8 different schools and over 1000 students.
Badminton Oceania caught up with Callum to learn more about his journey into Shuttle Time and his endeavors to take badminton into to the rural indigenous communities of South Australia:
Can you explain more about your own journey and relationship with badminton/what was your route into becoming a Shuttle Time teacher?
Through my university studies I started working at lots of sporting organisations in Adelaide and then an opportunity became available at Badminton South Australia as their Development Officer. I have been in my position since April of 2018. I did not have much Badminton experience before I became Development Officer but presented an opportunity to learn a new sport and push me out of my comfort zone.
A large part of my role is going out to schools and running badminton lessons so I needed to do a coaching course. I attended my Shuttle Time course in Melbourne, 2018 and that was a great way to introduce myself to the game of Badminton. Badminton was a very foreign sport to me as a grew up playing AFL, Cricket and Soccer.
From completing the coaching course, I was asked to teach the Shuttle Time course in Adelaide, from there I worked with Marianne Loh who taught me all the required skills to be a Shuttle Time teacher. Since then, I have run 5 or 6 Shuttle Time courses in Adelaide. Just recently I completed my BWF Level 1 coaching course and that course has helped me to increase my knowledge of Badminton.
What were your most memorable events regarding badminton and the people you met through it?
Being involved in the South Australia International in 2019 was a great experience, watching some of the world’s best players compete was something I will never forget. I have met some great people involved with Badminton but the best thing about my job is the smile on kids’ faces when they are being physically active and having fun during my school lessons.
Could you talk about your experiences while developing badminton to the remote indigenous community?
In March of 2021 I spent a couple of weeks in Port Lincoln (650km from Adelaide) and Port Augusta (320km away from Adelaide) working with 8 different schools and over 1000 students. It was always fantastic to be able to visit regional communities and provide them with the rare opportunity to play badminton. It was quite a challenge because a lot of the students had never played before but they learnt very quickly.
How has Shuttle Time made a difference to the indigenous communities?
I think Badminton is a great sport to play and there are many benefits of playing the sport. I think exposing students to different sports at a young age will help to them to improve their fundamental motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It is just another sport for kids to play and provides a safer alternative to the contact sports.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from working with Shuttle Time?
Patience is key when working with young students and it is important to stay positive even when a lesson may not go to plan. Being flexible and adapting the sessions based on the students is really crucial. The more experience you have coaching and working with students the easier it becomes.
Callum in aciton
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