Yipirinya enjoys exposure of a different kind
Image: Yipirinya School students learnt the basics of badminton in Term 1, as well as improved their hitting and co-ordination.
It takes time and hard work to perfect the skills for a sport and badminton isn’t any different, according to Shuttle Time coach Lyn Ansell.
“Being a top footballer or tennis player doesn’t mean you will find badminton easy to play,” Ansell says. “By changing the length of the racket shaft, reducing the size of the courts and modifying the rules everyone can get to play a fun game.”
Ansell says the most important benefit of badminton is that most children haven’t played before so they all learn together.
“Badminton works on hand-eye coordination, balance and reaction time as well as physical fitness,” she says. “The skills needed can be learnt separately and then combined to quickly gain a sense of achievement whilst still having fun.”
Badminton is suitable for all ages, all levels of fitness and all abilities, she says.
Yipirinya, an Indigenous school in Alice Springs, recently held a six-week Shuttle Time program for students from a variety of year groups.
“Many students had never seen badminton played before and really enjoyed the challenges that the Shuttle Time program set for them,” she says.
“The students showed excellent progress in their understanding of how the game is played, learning the basics of scoring and some of the rules, as well as improving their hitting and co-ordination.”
Yipirinya’s Sporting Schools’ coordinator Jim Sligar says he chose badminton as an indoor sport for students during the blistering Term 1 heat.
It was also “a change of sport from the normal that the school offers … exposure to a new sport, new skills”.
While the program has encouraged his students to get more active, Sligar says this occurs only at school as there is no access to sporting facilities where they live.
“The main barriers stopping students being active is the cost of access to facilities outside school hours,” he says.
Thanks to Sporting Schools, Yipirinya has purchased some equipment so students can now play badminton during lunchtime. “The school will offer it again in Term 4 when it warms up again,” 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 Australia program at your school? Check out all the details on the Badminton Australia page.
Looking for a club in your area? http://www.badminton.org.au/get-involved/playing/where-to-play