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It's Shuttle Time for secondary schools

Image: WA’s Sporting Schools Badminton coordinator Kay Terry says it doesn’t matter what age or ability you are working with, seeing students enjoy learning new skills and discovering they can have success in a short period of time is very satisfying.

Badminton is a sport with growing appeal across all age groups and demographics, according to Western Australian coach and Sporting Schools’ coordinator Kay Terry.

Kay, who coaches all levels and grades, says the Sporting Schools program has introduced badminton to thousands of children in WA in the past three years.

“Coaches have found the young students eager to participate and there have been repeat bookings from schools in a number of cases,” Kay says.

She expects the extension of Badminton Australia’s Shuttle Time into secondary schools (Years 7 and 8) next term to be well received.

“I think the uptake will be immediate and we might face the possibility of needing more coaches - especially those who can work during school hours,” she says.

“The challenge with primary groups is that class numbers are often quite large, e.g. 30 children, and the playing area is sometimes outdoors or in an undercover section. 

“With secondary classes there is usually a gymnasium with courts, so there is an opportunity to develop players in a more manageable environment, plus older students often pick up skills quite quickly.”

Kay says the structure of secondary schools means that including the Shuttle Time program “can be seamless” and will “provide the students with experienced and qualified coaches. It also has the potential of developing teachers’ knowledge and skills in presenting badminton.”

Corrigin District High School physical education teacher Joshua Cusworth says he is keen to introduce a new sport to students.

“Our students don’t get much exposure to sports like badminton, so we thought why not take the opportunity to introduce the game to the students,” he says.

“They’re very excited about the upcoming badminton program and are eager to get out there and experience a sport they know little about … without this [Sporting Schools] funding this wouldn’t have been possible for a school as small as ours.”

He says the teaching resources are a “very handy tool” that can assist anyone in running a Badminton program.

“The lesson plans are well set out and easy to understand, and the best thing is that both teacher and pupil goals are included, giving everyone something to aim to achieve by the end of the lesson,” he says.

Sporting Schools is a $160 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a badminton program at your school? Check out all the details on the Badminton Australia page.

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