Badminton became a teaching tool last week as MetLife launched the “MetLife Badminton – Youth Development Program” in Hong Kong.
This initiative, timed to coincide with the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open 2014 – the 12th and final tournament in the annual MetLife BWF World Superseries – saw youngsters learning eight key life skills via a series of learn-to-play badminton workshops: communications, respect, responsibility, trust, teamwork, decision making, goal setting and leadership.
As title sponsor of the BWF World Superseries and a good corporate citizen in each of the markets in which it operates, MetLife is committed to developing long-term community programs incorporating sports and health and wellness activities. This particular project was developed in cooperation with the Change Foundation and was supported by the King & Georgie Badminton Club.
On November 20, MetLife organised a badminton festival in Tsim Sha Tsui to celebrate the graduation of more than 100 young people from this meaningful program. The festival consisted of fun badminton-related games and interactive badminton action with former world-class badminton stars and local celebrities.
“I love playing badminton and am very happy to have the opportunity to improve my badminton skills through this program and at the same time learn other valuable life skills. I am also very happy to receive a badminton racket from MetLife which will allow me to continue to pursue my passion for badminton,” said one of the participants from Ho Yu College.
“MetLife is the second largest health insurer in the region and our community outreach program is an excellent way to give children the opportunity to better their lives in a unique and engaging way. Badminton is a fun, healthy way to share and teach key life values and skills to our next generation and is in line with MetLife’s corporate philosophy of helping to improve people’s lives,” said Ralph Brunner, Chief Marketing Officer, MetLife, Asia.
Also participating in the festival and playing badminton with the children was BWF Secretary General, Thomas Lund, who noted, “Our youth are a key target audience for BWF to engage in order for the sport of badminton to grow in terms of participation and popularity. I am delighted that our partner MetLife shares the same vision as us and has, through its sponsorship of the MetLife BWF World Superseries, developed this initiative that not only reaches out to the youth to increase their interest in badminton but also develops key skills that will help them lead better lives.”
Former top Men’s Singles player, Morten Frost, was also on hand and stressed the importance of engaging the younger generations.
“Young people are the future of badminton. To make badminton more popular and have more people playing badminton, we need to engage the youth and get them interested in badminton in a fun and engaging way to sustain their interest and today’s event is indeed a fun and engaging way to keep them interested in badminton,” he said.
The festival wrapped up with a ceremony where all participants received a medal and a certificate of achievement. In addition to the recognition given to the students, MetLife also donated all the badmintons sports equipment from the program to the participating schools in order to help them sustain the spirit of badminton and sports in the future.
“MetLife has been in Hong Kong for nearly 20 years and is committed to supporting local charity and community programs. MetLife thanks all the VIPs, youths and the children who participated. We hope to continue to serve our customers and help them pursue more from life,” said Lennard Yong, Chief Executive Officer, MetLife Hong Kong.