Shuttle Time is back in the CNMI with the Northern Marianas Badminton Association bringing the program to Green Meadow School’s Chalan Kiya campus last weekend.
NMBA vice president Nate Guerrero and directors Janelle Pangilinan and Andreau Galvez, who represented the CNMI in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, conducted the Shuttle Time session at the GMS ground and taught nearly 20 students the basic skills and drills in badminton.
Incoming sixth grader Ysabella Mallari and seventh grader Andres Antonino were among the attendees of the Shuttle Time session and welcomed the event as part of their activities for the early summer camp.
“I like the drill called bouncing bird because we get to learn how to hit the shuttlecock properly. It was fun even though we keep dropping the shuttlecock,” the 11-year-old Mallari said.
For 12-year-old Antonino, joining Shuttle Time brought him back to the time when he used to play badminton as a very young boy. He said back then he would just hit the shuttlecock in all directions, but last week with the NMBA players holding a session at the GMS Chalan Kiya campus, he learned to swing the racket properly and have some sort of control with the way he hit the shuttlecock. Antonino added that it’s better to learn the drills with his classmates and friends.
GMS president Glenn Songcuan watched their students participated in the drills and is happy with their response to the program.
“Several of our students are now showing an interest for badminton and requesting for our own school to have equipment. For many of them, it was a new and very fun experience. Thank you so much to NMBA for sharing that experience with our school and students,” said Songcuan, adding that at GMS, physical activity and education are definitely a regular part of their educational curriculum.
Meanwhile, NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said the session at GMS is just part of a series of Shuttle Time events that the association will be conducting this month and in July. Also scheduled for June are sessions with Marianas High School, Saipan Southern High School, and Mt. Carmel School students.
“We will continue to reach out to schools to provide opportunities to as many students as we can. We, at NMBA, believe that bringing badminton, through Shuttle Time, to the scholastic level is critical in our efforts to grow the sport in the CNMI and find local talents that can represent the islands in future regional and international competitions,” Tolentino said.
Before the Shuttle Time stop at GMS, the NMBA took a break from hosting the program in schools in March due to the reimplementation of stricter COVID-19 safety protocols and continued the lull in April and May to give way to graduation preparations and ceremonies. Shuttle Time is a Badminton World Federation-led initiative that aims at bringing the sport closer to students by offering schools access to free resources, training, and equipment to support the teaching of enjoyable and safe badminton activities to children. (PR)