Badminton to soar in South Africa with Special Olympics partnership

April 13, 2020

The growing stature of badminton in the African continent was underlined by the announcement of Badminton South Africa’s partnership with Special Olympics South Africa last month.

It left Special Olympics South Africa CEO Ancilla Smith thrilled as she believes badminton being the second biggest sport in the country augurs well for the collaboration.

“We are incredibly excited about this partnership. It speaks to the global partnership between Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Special Olympics International (SOI),” Smith said.

“People living with an intellectual disability in South Africa are seldom given the opportunity to try new sports. The expert support we are receiving from Badminton SA and BWF means this is a sport we can confidently offer to our athletes.

“We are sure this will see the growth of the sport in South Africa and believe it will be beneficial for both parties.”

Badminton SA President Glen Brothers sees the cooperation as an important step towards making the sport accessible to all, a key strategic focus of BWF.

Children enjoying Shuttle Time activities in local school.

In March last year, BWF and SOI signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding to increase the growth, quality and frequency of badminton participation around the world. (link)

Badminton SA will leverage on the relationship by implementing its training and education within the Special Olympics South Africa workforce on a regional basis, utilising the BWF Shuttle Time Schools Programme.

The first four provinces to see the roll out of this initiative will be Gauteng, Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Eastern Province.

Shuttle Time started in South Africa in 2012 and 35 courses – including Teacher, Tutor and Trainer – had been delivered to date. The country now has more than 560 certified Shuttle Time teachers.