The Badminton World Federation ( BWF ) has rolled out a new badminton training program ' Shuttle Time ' with the goal of getting more children involved in the sport and restoring its popularity in Indonesia.
'After I complete the training program, I will talk to the school principal to try and organize more badminton activities for children on a regular basis ['¦] and possibly initiate a club,' M. Soleh, a physical education teacher at an elementary school in Palembang, South Sumatra, said.
Soleh is among 30 physical education teachers taking part in a three-day training program clinic from Feb. 17 to 19 in cooperation with the Ayo Olahraga ( Get Invloved in sport ) campaign co-organized by the Indonesian Badminton Association ( PBSI ) and beverage brand Nestle Milo.
The program, which is also being held Surabaya, Cirebon and Yogyakarta as part of the annual Milo School Competition, aims to help teachers and coaches develop skills and knowledge to plan and deliver safe and fun badminton lessons for children.
'The program is very beneficial. We have acquired a lot of knowledge and skills that we can implement in our coaching methods,' Soleh said.
'I am hoping to eventually recruit and train 30 to 40 kids,' he said.
Over the three days, the participants receive lessons in badminton theory as well as basic skills demonstrations from BWF's Shuttle Time handbook.
'BWF launched the handbook last year as to combat its drop in popularity among children and young people who prefer to play futsal these days, while 10 or 15 years ago badminton was the dominant sport,' PBSI's training tutor Eddy Prayitno said.
'Because of futsal's rising popularity in Asia, BWF has launched Shuttle Time, which is specifically aimed at promoting badminton in Asia,' Eddy said.
He said the success of the program could only be judged based how motivated the participants were in recruiting children to play badminton.
'Teachers must be able to recruit children between six and 10 of age to play badminton,' Eddy said.
The movement to help restore badminton's popularity will go a long way to reinstate Indonesia as a global badminton power.
In this season's first two BWF Super Series Championships in South Korea and Malaysia, Indonesia's players returned home empty handed with Tommy Sugiarto the only player to come close to winnning a title after being beaten by world number one Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles final in Kuala Lumpur in January.
Nestle Milo sport marketing manager Donny Wahyudi said that the commencement of the training program for teachers would add more significance to the brand's role in helping to develop badminton in the country. In addition to the program, it also sponsors the school badminton competition, which is said to involve some 30,000 school children since 20002.
'We are glad to have the opportunity to assist PBSI toward restoring badminton's popularity,' Donny said.
This year, the Milo School Competition is held in four cities. Cirebon already completed its competition on Feb. 3-8. The following round will be in Yogyakarta on Feb 24-March 1, followed by Surabaya on March 17-22 and Palembang on April 21-26. The winners from each city are granted spots in the grand final in Jakarta in June.