Northern Marianas Badminton Association went back to basics, as it conducted another session of Shuttle Time yesterday at the TSL Sports Complex.
National team players Janelle and Jordan Pangilinan, Ezekiel and Daniel Macario, and Nicole Malasarte led Shuttle Time—a Badminton World Federation program that offers school access to free resources, training, and equipment to support the teaching of enjoyable and safe badminton activities to children in the 5 to 15 age groups.
The five players, who represented the CNMI in last year’s Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, demonstrated drills on footwork, coordination, balance, and hand trips to 14 Shuttle Time participants. The national players also taught participants about service and kinds of shots and the fundamental rules in the sport.
“It’s very important to focus on the basics, especially, for people who just started with the sport or just trying to get back into their game because of the long break due to the pandemic. Mastering the basics will help one improve his/her game faster and safer,” Janelle Pangilinan said.
NMBA players and a couple of teachers attended yesterday’s session and the former were included in the program, as they will be assisting the association in reaching on to schools and conducting a series of Shuttle Time sessions. Last December, NMBA visited Agape Christian School and introduced Shuttle Time to more than 30 students and their teachers.
NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said they are looking forward to visiting more schools and holding Shuttle Time to grow the sport and encourage more young players.
“We will be coordinating with the Public School System once it’s safe to hold Shuttle Time with the teachers and students,” Tolentino said.
Erika Dela Rosa, who teaches at William S. Reyes Elementary School, said badminton would be a great addition to the list of sports/physical activities that students do.
“At this time of the pandemic, badminton is ideal for students and other interested individuals because players play on the opposite court, so you have social distancing in place. If given an opportunity, I would love my students to learn badminton,” Dela Rosa said.
Pangilinan said they are excited to work with students and teachers and share what they have learned from the sports through the years.
“I’ve talked to some students and they said they are interested to know how to play badminton. It will be great if we could reach out to them to get more players, especially the youth, involved in the program. At this time of the pandemic, we could not always do Shuttle Time, but in the future, we could hold summer camps to bring the sports to the students and the rest of the community,” Pangilinan said.