G.C. Foster, Insports team up for Shuttle Time. Coaches under training to develop sport across island
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Badminton Association (JBA), in collaboration with the Institute of Sports (Insports), launched the Shuttle Time programme, which aims to train coaches for growing the sport across the island.
The Shuttle Time programme is an initiative by the World Badminton Federation (WBF), which was implemented four years ago to develop the sport globally at the grassroots level. This includes communities and preparatory and primary schools.
"It is the fastest growing racquet sports programme now, and it is being launched full-time and full speed ahead," said Robert Richards, president of the JBA, shortly after yesterday's start of the two-day programme at G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, in St Catherine.
"We will be looking to coach and train as many tutors for the Shuttle Time programme to have in as many prep and primary schools as possible across the island," he said.
Richards also said his association will be conducting a level-one certification programme for the coaches in the programme who fall below the qualification standard.
"A second course will be held at the end of this month in conjunction with the World Badminton Federation, as well as the Pan American Federation, and so we are looking forward to this," he said.
Ian Andrews, Insports' executive director, pointed out that their mandate is to unearth and develop sporting talent, even the disciplines that are not the most popular.
"We decided to take on this project in partnership with the badminton association, that is, to train our sports officers who coach in the St Catherine region, to equip them to go into the schools and communities and teach the youngsters the rudiments of the game," he said.
"We tend to get sidetracked with the popular sports, but we are looking at the ones that are as not as popular, but still very significant," said Andrews.
Richard Gregory Wong, WBF level-one coach and tutor of the Shuttle Time programme, said the course is easy to learn.
"It is definitely a great way to start out; it is a very simple course, it is almost guaranteed that you will pass it," said Wong.
"They simplify the programme in such a way that all you have to do is follow the lesson plan, take a look at the online videos and follow the teacher's manual, and, once you do this, then you will pass it," he said.
"The initiative to work with Insports is a great one because you have officers from different parishes, and so once they take the programme, they can go into the various parishes where they work and start to teach badminton there," Wong said.
More than 16 sports officers from Insports took part on day one.