Northern Marianas Badminton Association is using its downtime to strengthen its school program via Shuttle Time and AirBadminton.
With tournaments on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NMBA is planning to hold another session of Shuttle Time and will continue to coordinate with schools for the introduction of AirBadminton. Shuttle time is Badminton World Federation’s program for students in the 5 to 15 age group, while AirBadminton is the outdoor version of the sport. BWF through Badminton Oceania has recently donated AirShuttle (the especially-designed shuttlecock for indoor badminton) sets to NMBA to facilitate the introduction of the outdoor game in the Commonwealth, while the local federation also received equipment (rackets, regular shuttlecock and nets) from the two sports bodies for Shuttle Time.
“These are the two programs that we will be working on while we wait for regular tournaments to resume. We would like to thank Badminton Oceania and Badminton World Federation for their support and through these programs, we look forward to encouraging more people, especially our youth, to try our sport,” NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said.
To boost Shuttle Time, NMBA is calling on interested players/coaches to sign up with the program’s online component overview at https://shuttletime.bwfbadminton.com/online-component and take the course. The virtual course will help participants understand the theoretical aspects of the Shuttle Time and familiarize themselves with the program. Upon completion of the course, participants will get a certificate and move on to join a face-to-face training course, which will be conducted by NMBA members who were designated as Shuttle Time tutors after attending a seminar in Samoa last year during the Pacific Games.
Shuttle Time offers school access to free resources, training, and equipment to support the teaching of enjoyable and safe badminton activities to students.
In December last year, NMBA held Shuttle Time at Agape Christian School, while another session (for coaches and players) took place mid this year to get them ready when it’s time to reach out to students. NMBA has also initiated talks with the Public School System Student Support Services Athletics Department to coordinate the introduction of AirBadminton to both private and public schools in the CNMI.
NMBA is looking at holding the third Shuttle Time session later this month and is still finalizing plans to adhere to the safety measures that the CNMI government is implementing at this time of the pandemic.