Other Sports of Thursday, 3 April 2014
Source: Sammy Heywood Okine
The Badminton Association of Ghana (BAG) with the support of the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA), Badminton World Federation (BWF), Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Authority and the Ghana Education Service officially launched the BWF Shuttle Time program in Ghana on Monday. To implement the program, a 5-day training course for Tutors and Physical Education Teachers opened on Monday 31st March, 2014 at the Rlg/Hathramani Sports Hall, Accra Sports Stadium. Present at the opening ceremony were; the Acting Director General of the National Sports Authority, Madam Alice Attipoe, Erasmus Adorkor; Deputy Director-General – Technical, Mr. Nestor Galley; President of Badminton Association of Ghana, Mr. B.A Annan; National P.E Coordinator, GES, Mr. Annirao Dajee, Development Officer of the BCA, Executive Members of the Badminton Association, teachers and the media. Shuttle Time” is an innovative schools badminton program launched in 2011 by the Badminton World Federation that envisions making badminton one of the world’s most popular schools sports. The course aims to help teachers and coaches to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to plan and deliver safe badminton lessons to schools children aged 5-15 years. Nestor Galley, President of Badminton Association said Ghana is the only selected country in the West and Central Africa by the BWF and BCA to benefit from this program after an officer from the BCA, Raj Gaya held consultative meetings with several stakeholders (Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Authority, Ghana Olympic Committee and Ghana Education Service) last July in Accra. The training course which would close on Friday 4th April, 2014 will equip tutors and teachers with the necessary resources and knowledge to teach badminton in schools and implement the shuttle time program across the country. The Course would be taught by the BCA Development Officer, Annirao Dajee from 31st March to 2nd April, 2014 for the Tutors and 3rd- 4th April, 2014 for the Physical Education teachers. A total of twenty (20) participants, mainly teachers from public and private junior and senior high schools in the Greater Accra Region comprising 7 females and 13 males will undergo the training. Mr. Galley further stated that, to effectively commence the implementation of the shuttle time program, the Badminton World Federation has donated equipment to Badminton Ghana comprising 500 rackets, 60 Dozens shuttlecocks and 20 nets. Presenting the equipment to Ghana on behalf of BWF, Mr. Dajee explained that, Ghana’s showing on the continental level in recent times has been very encouraging and therefore expect the country to use the equipment for its intended purpose. He also expressed satisfaction and enthusiasm at the attendance of tutors and teachers and admonished them to transfer the knowledge to the kids and schools to popularize the sport. Acting Director General of the National Sports Authority, Madam Alice Attipoe, who received the equipment on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, was very elated at eventual launch of Shuttle Time in Ghana. She was very grateful to the BWF, BCA, the GES and the Association for their tireless efforts to make the program a reality. She however affirmed Government’s support to the program and pledged her outfit’s eagerness to sustain the Shuttle Time to spread across the country. Mr. Erasmus Adorkor, Deputy Director General (Technical) of the Sports Authority praised the Badminton Association for their commitment in ensuring that, the sport is developed and popularized throughout the country, hence the Shuttle Time will help to achieve such mission. He entreated the participants to be punctual at the training course with passion and dedication. He further challenged them to churn out budding talents from their respective schools who would be able to compete for the country on the international level in future. Adorkor made a passionate appeal to the Ghana Education Service to inculcate Badminton into their Physical Education curriculum. This he believes would enable the kids to sustain their interest in the sport. In a closing remark, Mr. B.A Annan, National Physical Education Coordinator of the Ghana Education Service disclosed that, his department would ensure the Shuttle Time program is implemented successfully across the country in various schools. He said that, it came at the opportune time when the Education service is seeking to expand its Physical Education activities. In a related development, the Badminton World Federation has started an equipment donation scheme to support Shuttle Time implementation program in less resourced regions. The programme will be run in conjunction with all BWF major events, where the public will be asked to bring unused rackets and equipment to donate at a drop off point. Accordingly, each participation tournament host was given a list of potential countries that could benefit from the project. Badminton England has selected Ghana from the list as its preferred country to support. Depending on the amount of equipment donated, they will support either individual schools or a region which Ghana shall nominate to receive the equipment. The first project would be All-England Badminton Championship held in March. The equipment will be used to supplement the original equipment provide by BWF to enhance the development of schools badminton in Ghana. Ghana would however be expected to report back to the England Badminton and BWF on the distribution of the equipment and its purposeful use.