The debut of badminton at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games strengthened the commitment of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to continue developing the sport globally.
In April 2022, Barbados became the first Caribbean country to host the BWF-IPC Para Badminton Technical Workshop. Delivered at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Bridgetown from 25–27 April, the project postponed from 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic attracted as many as nine countries.
A total of 37 participants (19 male, 18 female) made up of coaches, players and administrators from Barbados, Colombia, Jamaica, Aruba, Suriname, Dominican Republic, St Lucia and Mexico took part in:
- Player Development Camp and Disability Coaching Workshop
Delivered by BWF Experts Kaitlyn Hall (Scotland), Dina Abouzeid (Spain) and Adrian Gomez (Costa Rica) to 18 players and eight coaches.
- National Administrators Workshop
Delivered by John Shearer (BWF Head of Continental Development) and Juan Pablo Alvarado (BPAC Development Director) to 10 administrators. It was also attended by BWF Council Member & Deputy Chair of Para badminton Committee Pilar Carrillo.
- National Level 1 Classifier Workshop
Delivered by BWF Senior Classifier Jose Maria Lopez Chema (Spain) to 11 participants.
Shearer: “We look forward to following and supporting the future of Para badminton in the Pan Am region, particularly leading up to the 2022 Pan Am Para Badminton Continental Championships, 2023 Para Pan Am Games and the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.”
Dionne Haynes (Vice-President of Barbados Badminton Association): “This is for athletes who have never been classified internationally but then also for the coaches in the region to learn how best to work with Para shuttlers. This is all to help develop Para badminton within Pan America. Once they leave Barbados, they can share the knowledge with coaches, administrators and classifiers at the national level.”
Kevin Wood (President of Barbados Badminton Association): “It falls right within our mandate of badminton being fully accessible to everyone. It augurs well for the sport and creates opportunities to have Para badminton competitions.”
D’andre Thorpe (Coach from Barbados): “It has been a different experience, especially with learning how to sit in the wheelchair. It’s great for me as a coach to see how it is with all the wheelchair movements and swings.”