February 11 - The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has reiterated its "badminton for all" message by rolling out its "Shuttle Time" programme, getting children from around the world involved in the sport, to a further 29 countries over the coming months.
In-keeping with the BWF's vision of badminton becoming the most widely played school sport worldwide in primary and secondary schools, "Shuttle Time" training materials will also be available in nine languages:- Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovakian and Spanish- by the end of 2013.
"We are pleased with the progress 'Shuttle Time' has made and the overwhelming way in which so many children from different cultures and backgrounds have taken to it and embraced badminton," said BWF secretary general, Thomas Lund.
"We have seen some talented youths across Africa and in Asia and the Pan-American region.
"There's no telling what they could possibly achieve with the appropriate coaching and infrastructure.
"A few years ago, a young boy who began playing badminton barefooted in the jungle of El Salvador won a medal at the Pan American Junior Championships." he added.
The materials for the 'Shuttle Time' programme are available to download for free from the BWF website, and have so far been downloaded in 119 nations across the world.
The BWF have also trained coaches in 63 nations to deliver the programme.
"We must commend the teachers who have taken to this project enthusiastically after being trained," said Lund
"They have been the ones in the forefront, passing on fundamental badminton skills and knowledge to children worldwide.
"'Shuttle Time' has been providing a fun and meaningful sporting experience and BWF's aim is to continue spreading badminton's positive message through it.
"We are even reaching countries which are not yet part of the BWF family, such as Papua New Guinea, but where we've visited and given them a taste of 'Shuttle Time'."
The BWF have also provided badminton equipment to various nations, such as Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Swaziland.
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