NMBA brings Shuttle Time to SIS


Saipan International School students watch, as Northern Marianas Badminton Association’s Cristy Villaflor, right, and SIS teacher Dick Guintu demonstrate how to hit the AirShuttle during NMBA’s Shuttle Time session at the Geckos turf in As Lito late last month. (Contributed Photo)

Northern Marianas Badminton Association conducted another session of Shuttle Time, introducing AirBadminton to Saipan International School students.

Around 50 SIS students participated in the clinic and learned the basics of the innovative version of badminton, as drills and matches were done at the Geckos’ ground late last month. National players Janelle Pangilinan and Daniel Macario facilitated the one-hour clinic with the help of some volunteers.

“The students’ reception of the badminton clinic was a good one. I wish that we would have had more time as we had a lot of kids that were interested but not enough time to get to them all,” said SIS teacher April Liske-Clark.

“I plan on having smaller groups attend the training when we come back from our holiday break. Our P.E. classes already included badminton and will continue to do so. I am excited that SIS will be trying to put together a team to play after the holiday break, and we all are looking forward to learning more about it. I think that the new AirBadminton will be a lot of fun to play,” she added.

NMBA started introducing AirBadminton on island last October, as it held a session for a small group of U15 players at the Olea Sports Complex Field. AirBadminton is the outdoor version of the sport, making it more accessible to players, and uses an especially-designed shuttlecock (AirShuttle) and racket.

Saipan International School students do warm-up stretches during the Northern Marianas Badminton Association’s Shuttle Time session at the Geckos turf in As Lito late last month. (Contributed Photo)

“I enjoyed having them (NMBA players and officials) come out and show us the new badminton set up. I like to play this game and look forward to learning more about it. I wish that we would have had more time to learn more about it and get a chance to really play,” SIS student Jack Xue said.

With Shuttle Time a hit at SIS, Pangilinan is pleased that badminton has been drawing more interest from students.

“I was quite surprised, but excited and happy to see so many faces take part in the course. It was a bit challenging considering this was the first time we had a course this big, but with the help of my teammates and volunteers from a soccer group, it became easier to handle,” Pangilinan said.

Meanwhile, NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said they will continue to coordinate with schools to conduct Shuttle Time and will do it safely by following protocols on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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