The Humans of Shuttle Time series from the Badminton World Federation shares the viewpoints of those who contribute to grassroots badminton development. Duncan Yeow Heng Choy, shuttle time teacher from New Zealand, shares his story
I’m from Malaysia where badminton is huge. I’ve been playing badminton with neighbours for fun since I was five; then I played in primary and secondary school. When I started working I’d meet with colleagues and friends and play social badminton on a weekly basis.
The first time I saw badminton was on TV in the late 1970s. It was a fun and easy sport to learn, I learned my first steps by watching the older kids play.
I was working in the hospitality industry in Malaysia and in 1992, when I was just 19, Malaysia hosted the famous Thomas Cup in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian badminton squad along with a few other participating countries stayed in the hotel at which I was working.
I met Malaysia’s team manager the late Punch Gunalan who was kind enough to give me a ticket to watch the finals. I also met Rashid Sidek, Malaysia’s first singles player. I missed his game but managed to get to Stadium Negara and join the 12,000-strong crowd. I watched the next match in which Foo Kok Keong caused an upset over Alan Budi Kusuma. It was my happiest day in badminton, witnessing Malaysia win badminton’s most prized trophy.
Later, in 2012, I watched Lee Chong Wei defeat China’s Chen Long to reach his eighth Malaysian Open final, which he won.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗕𝗮𝗱𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗠𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀
Badminton and I go a long way as I’ve enjoyed it from a young age. Today it is about sharing my experience and passing on my knowledge to my two sons, Nicholas and Caden, as well as junior and adult badminton players in Taranaki. Both my children love playing badminton and have enrolled into various development sessions and have attended development camps organised by Taranaki Badminton and Badminton New Zealand.
𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗕𝗮𝗱𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆
Living in a country with four seasons, badminton as an indoor game has a great advantage as it can be played all year. Children as young as 3 and 4, and senior citizens too can participate.
Developing badminton in Taranaki has been a smooth challenge for me. It was about reaching out to the correct community and schools, understanding your potential community groups and approaching them. No one says no to fun and sports here! Once you have established the interest, move forward by inviting a friend for the next badminton session and the base will grow. My key focus in growing badminton in Taranaki is developing junior badminton.
During my weekly badminton sessions, I allocate a special 30-minute session involving parents of junior players. These parents are taught basic shuttle feeding, basic badminton rules, playing lines for singles/doubles as well as umpiring. These parent-coach volunteers aid me my weekly coaching sessions and help players develop and learn the game faster. It’s a lot of fun for both players and parents.
Developing adults in my community has also been fun. Reaching out to the correct community/office workers/shift workers and allocating a suitable time slot for adults to play badminton is important. On occasion, stronger players are paired with newer players to make the game more interesting and fun.
𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗦𝗵𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲
Shuttle Time is a wonderful programme in creating opportunities to grow badminton. Shuttle Time sessions in schools provide a platform for me to introduce how easy and fun badminton can be played among schoolmates, friends and family. Shuttle Time programmes also help me scout for potential junior badminton players and introduce them to development programmes.
𝗟𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗦𝗵𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲
Working with Shuttle Time has helped build my confidence in personal development and pursuing my badminton coaching to the next level. I encourage school coaches, parents, senior students and club volunteers to sign up for the next available Shuttle Time certification course and grow badminton in their region.