Northern Marianas Badminton Association members’ trip to Guam was not all about competition, as the visiting players also got involved in an event for persons with disabilities.
Nate Guerrero, one of the NMBA delegates to the Badminton Invitational Guam 2019, said they assisted participants in the Special Olympics held last Saturday at the John F. Kennedy High School Gymnasium.
“We were fortunate enough to assist Special Olympics Guam and Guam Badminton Federation in teaching as well as playing with kids and adults with disabilities,” said Guerrero.
After participating in the Special Olympics, Guerrero, who represented the CNMI to the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, hopes that NMBA could also host a similar event.
“It’s great for the sport and it was real nice seeing everyone enjoy themselves out there. I hope that one day or sometime soon, we could as well host a Special Olympics on Saipan and badminton would be one of the sports. It’s great to grow the sport this way and also have events like this so everyone gets the chance to enjoy themselves and compete,” Guerrero.
The Special Olympics had been in the works for two years and was just launched in August this year after Special Olympics Guam and the Guam National Badminton Federation signed an agreement to implement the program. Under the pact, GNBF will offer free instruction to badminton coaches and officials, who will then work with people with disabilities. GNBF will also provide coaches and players with disabilities access to equipment, venues, and competitions.
Meanwhile, Miles Guerrero, Patrick and Windy Fernandez, Jaja Bocago, Chris Hilario, Edwin Montoya, Janelle and Jordan Pangilinan, Nicole Malasarte, Andreu Galvez, and Ezekiel and Daniel Macario joined Nate Guerrero in the three-day competition in Guam—a first for NMBA after two years.
“We are thankful to Guam Badminton Federation for inviting us, along with the Philippines, to be apart of a local tournament here. We have not had a competition out here for about two years now, so we’re all happy to be back,” Guerrero said.