The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) recently (4th and 5th May 2023) took “Shuttle Time,” a grassroots programme that is developed by Badminton World Federation (BWF) to Nnewi in Anambra State.
This event which was held at the indoor sports hall of Nnewi Sports Club was attended by fifty students from eleven secondary schools and 13 P.E. teachers. The training was conducted by the Shuttle Time Nigeria Coordinator, Tajudeen Suleiman Ayodele.
Shuttle Time is a project in which lessons are designed to provide children with a positive image of badminton by providing children and youths with the opportunities to have fun, engage with others and experience success, with a view of introducing them to the game of badminton. As part of promoting grassroots access to the game of badminton.
The Nnewi event is the second to be held in Nigeria under the auspices of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) and it is organized by South-East Badminton and powered by Community Sport and Educational Development (CSED) Initiative through the distribution of basic badminton equipment which included badminton rackets, nets, and shuttlecocks to the schools.
South-East representative in the BFN Board, Mrs Oby Edoga Solaja also acknowledged the warm reception and logistical support accorded the team of Shuttle Time trainers and BFN by the Badminton Section of the Nnewi Sports Club, anchored by Ambassador Odi Nwosu and the Acting Chairman, Arch Paul Ileka. The eleven schools from Nnewi and its environs are Nnewi High School; Community Secondary School; Livingword Comprehensive Secondary School; Anglican Girls Secondary School; Premium Breed Secondary School, Maria Regina Model Secondary School, and Okongwu Memorial Grammar School.
Others are Immanuel Model Secondary School, Akamili; Okija Grammar School; Austica Memorial College Nanka and St. Michael’s Boys Secondary School, Ozubulu.
Despite the heavy rainfall on the first day of the training event, the students and their P.E. teachers enjoyed the fun-filled training sessions that had Godswill Ifejika and Chuma Nweje (certified BWF Shuttle Time Tutors) support Tajudeen Suleiman Ayodele, in running the training sessions.
Former African champion, Mrs Oby Edoga Solaja, was also present to share her experience of badminton with some of the attendees. With two series of Shuttle Time Nigeria done in Ilishan and Nnewi, the Shuttle Time train is going to move to Edo, Kaduna Delta and Bayelsa states within the next three months.
A Trustee of CSED Initiative told our reporter that they aim to use their grassroots partnership with BFN to re-energise some tertiary institutions in the country to use sports to empower the youths in the locality where their campuses are based.