Badminton Europe are very proud to be the Continental Confederation with the most Shuttle Time-countries; one of them being Ireland. Monthly, a piece about a Shuttle Time-implementing country will be published on the BEC website, to promote the great Shuttle Time-projects that are happening across the continent.
September’s profile is Badminton Ireland, an old ‘player’ in European badminton history, and therefore they also possess a well-developed badminton culture. Competing with national favorites such as Gaelic football, rugby and football, the sport of badminton is doing great on a national level. The Irish badminton association, Badminton Ireland(BI), was founded in 1899 as one of the oldest in Europe and joined the BEC in 1968, right after the Continental Confederation was founded. They currently have 450 clubs in the country and 14.900 players.
The Shuttle Time-project was created in 2012 and is run through Badminton World Federation (BWF), and Badminton Europe’s Member Association, Badminton Ireland, joined the programme shortly after in January 2013; a sign of their dedication and interest in developing the sport of badminton in their country.
“Shuttle Time has been a huge benefit for getting badminton into our schools and getting more children playing badminton as their first sport”, Daniel Magee, Performance Pathway Coach at Badminton Ireland, explains.
Ever since Badminton Ireland first started implementing Shuttle Time in 2013, they have been doing courses to educate teachers and tutors, which has resulted in a total of 1454 Shuttle Time teachers, 25 tutors, and five trainers. 90 courses have been divided over the last three years, of these 87 were for teachers and three were for tutors. Furthermore, they have already organized 21 Shuttle Time courses in 2016 alone.
“Off the back of the Shuttle Time project we have seen a big increase in children looking to join Juvenile badminton clubs. With more children taking up the sport we are hoping to see further increases of numbers in clubs. This increase of numbers will add to our school badminton programme and competitions we run for both primary and secondary school children”, Magee continues.
Educating coaches is an important part
An important part of developing badminton is educating competent coaches to carry out the sport. Badminton Ireland have been doing quite a lot in this department, and has an old badminton culture, which helps a lot along the way. This is what drives the sport and keeps it evolving and developing.
“Shuttle Time forms the first step on our coaches ladder alongside training teachers to lead sessions as part of their Physical education curriculum. The Shuttle Time course is a perfect first step for those who want to get the basic elements planning sessions and implementing simple practical learning for children”, Magee said.
Another great thing about the ST project is that it leaves some teachers hungry for more. Magee explains:
“The teachers and candidates who have undertaken the Shuttle Time project have often followed this up by taking the BWF level one coach education course and have become even more involved than just working within their school by joining their local clubs. Once these coaches join clubs they often encourage the children who they teach in their school to join also and the game continues to develop as the numbers playing in the area continues to increase.”
119 have completed a course and can call themselves a coach at ‘Coach Education Level 1’, while nine teachers and eight tutors have completed ‘Coach Education Level 2’.
Cooperating with the rest of Europe
Badminton Ireland have something that only ten Member Associations have, which is a Certified Training Centre. Its’ purpose is to offer players from Member Associations, that does not have a High Performance centre, to come and practice and live permanently for a period of time, often through BEC scholarships.
Furthermore, Badminton Ireland participates in BEC’s Regional Projects and the yearly BEC Summer School has also had Irish players and coaches participating for many years.
A busy future
The Irish Badminton Association do not have low aims for the future of badminton; The goal is that one day they will have introduced badminton to every single school in Ireland.
Magee elaborates: “We will continue to educate teachers and help guide them towards how to introduce badminton to children, what are the options for these children to continue badminton after they finish school and also what options they have to continue to develop their own badminton education. “
The association is also keen to introduce Shuttle Time into their local colleges and universities, by encouraging the programme for trainee teachers and students.
“We envisage that this increase in qualified Shuttle Time personnel will help increase our membership numbers and overall club membership.” Magee states, for the general development of badminton in Ireland.
And Badminton Ireland see Shuttle time as the vital link in that process, because it entices teachers to get involved with the game.
“We see this programme and the material provided as a huge benefit at making badminton one of the most attractive sports that schools will look to use as part of their Physical education curriculum”, he continues.
Badminton Europe hope to continue the growth in order to make badminton one of the most popular and accessible sports in Europe – and in the world, both in and out of schools. And with contribution from Member Associations like Badminton Ireland, we are sure to see the project going in the right direction.
Find more info about Shuttle Time in Ireland here