30 April, 2017

Badminton Makes Successful Debut at School Olympics

Badminton joined a select group of sports when it made a successful debut at the Finals of the 5th UAE School Olympics last week, with 173 players (89 boys and 84 girls) contesting the Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15 categories on the 24th and 25th of April.


In October last year it was announced that badminton would be the first racquet sport to be included in the School Olympics, joining athletics, swimming, judo, taekwondo, fencing, archery, shooting, and jiu-jitsu.


Following the announcement, Shuttle Time Dubai, which has been operating in Dubai for three years, extended its Dubai-based programmes and worked with the National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Education to support the establishment of 18 Badminton School Olympic Training Centres across the UAE. In Dubai, the National Training Centres established in 2015 received additional support from the National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Education to serve as the Olympic Training Centres. The Centres saw an estimated 500 players training three times per week.


To support the introduction of the Training Centres in other emirates, Shuttle Time Dubai conducted teaching courses in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman to equip teachers with the skills to train the children involved in the badminton programme. In addition, Shuttle Time Dubai also donated 500 racquets, 400 shuttlecocks and 25 portable nets to the Badminton School Olympic Training Centres.


The extensive preparation across the UAE paid off last week, with an exciting competition in both the girls’ and boys’ three age categories at the UAE School Olympics.


The team representing Dubai showed the benefits of involvement in the Shuttle Time Dubai programme, dominating the competition. Dubai took home all but four of the medals, taking five gold, five silver and ten bronze for a total of 20 medals. The team from Eastern Sharjah also performed well against more experienced opposition, taking home one gold, one silver and two bronze.


Eastern Sharjah’s gold came in the Boys Under 11 competition, won by Hamed Saeed Mohammed. Dubai’s winner in the Boys Under 13 division was Rashed Abudallah Hasan, while in the Under 15 the winner was Saeed Omar Mohammed.


In the Girls competitions, the Under 11 category was won by Ayah Mohammed Abdullah, the Girls Under 13 division was won by Sheikha Saeed Rashed, and the Under 15 was won by Roudha Saeed Rashed, all from Dubai. For the full list of results please see attached.


Dubai Badminton Development Manager Jaffer Ebrahim said, “It is fantastic to have badminton involved in the UAE School Olympics for the first time. This event has given us the opportunity to introduce more children in the other emirates to the sport, and by training the teachers and providing equipment we hope to see the numbers of children participating in badminton continuing to grow. This competition is also great experience for the children who wish to pursue the sport at elite level, and will inspire them to work hard to achieve their goals.


“Hopefully one day we will see children who started playing with Shuttle Time Dubai make it to the international stage and compete in the Olympic Games.”


The Shuttle Time Dubai grassroots development programme, which aims to increase participation in badminton, is being implemented in Dubai through a range of programs and activities including teacher training and coaching development; the establishment of National Training Centres, and the organization of Schools and Club Championships.

Shuttle Time Dubai is part of Dubai’s four-year, multi-platform partnership with the Badminton World Federation (BWF), facilitated by Falcon and Associates, the pinnacle of which is the staging of the annual Dubai World Superseries Finals, which will be held in the city each year until 2017. 

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