Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has assured that the country will tap into the school’s sports to ensure the success and sustainability of the Shuttle Time initiative, which is a campaign of the World Badminton Federation in order to harness enormous talents from the grassroots.
He made this declaration recently when the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, BFN, led by its President, Honourable Justice Danlami Senchi paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
The Minister who was represented by the Acting Director General and Director, Sports Medicine, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu lauded the initiative and stressed that through the programme about 20,000 kids will be reached across the country.
Dr. Danagogo stated that the programme being an international campaign by the World Badminton Federation to drive the sport of badminton to the grassroots, was in line with Nigeria’s policy for grassroots sports development. This, he said “as a country, we believe that we are not only promoting kids to develop talent for a particular sport, but also to be healthy and derive all benefits that come with it, not only in class but to enhance self esteem, discipline and avoid obesity and its associated cases.”
Continuing, the Minister said “the campaign came at a time when the National Sports Commission is partnering with the Ministry of Education, National School Sports Federation and the Sports Councils in promoting sports at grassroots because the country believes that only at the grassroots it can achieve and harness great potentials.”
He noted the challenges associated with continuity of projects and programmes but assured that with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, the campaign will be successful and sustainable.
Earlier, the President, Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Justice Danlami Senchi stated that the visit was to launch the Shuttle Time Initiative otherwise known as “PWAF Schools Badminton Programme”, a campaign drive of the World Badminton Federation in collaboration with the Badminton Confederation of Africa to actually take the game to the grassroots. Contributing, the President, Badminton Confederation of Africa, Larry Keys noted that the programme started in 2013 and have been able to bring about 4,000 children into the sport of badminton.
He disclosed that 500 playing rackets, 200 tubes of shuttle and 20 nets have been donated to Nigeria by the World Badminton Federation, while the concept is geared towards training selected teachers who will work with BCA’s coaches.
The BCA boss said the campaign is towards caring for many children as he said “a child in sport is a child out of court”.
Keys affirmed the financial support of the Badminton Confederation of Africa to ensure the success of the campaign, but decried the lack of sustainability in previous projects.
He called on government and the Badminton Federation of Nigeria to ensure the sustainability of this project. According to him “I think your presence here tells me that you are very keen to do this project because the project is a win-win scheme for everybody especially the children.”