Shuttle Time Dubai celebrated its fifth year of implementation yesterday, with Danish badminton icon Viktor Axelsen on hand to participate in the special occasion at Dubai Sports World.
The last five years of Shuttle Time in the emirate have led to several landmark achievements, including the training of 600 teachers/tutors, 160 coaches and 100 nationally certified umpires. During this period, 120 schools and 20 emirati training centres have been involved, and over 12,000 children have participated in various Shuttle Time initiatives, with 10,000 rackets distributed among participants.
Axelsen, who currently trains in Dubai, showered praise on Shuttle Time, emphasising its importance in the region.
“I think it’s important to grow badminton, especially in other regions, like the Middle East and Dubai. I think there might be a lot of talent here, I think it’s about having the opportunity to go into badminton, a few good halls to play in, and initiatives like Shuttle Time are definitely important. The more people can play badminton the better. I think there’s great potential here in Middle East and Dubai. I played the Dubai World Superseries Finals and it was a great experience. I hope the sport can keep growing. I will do my best to raise awareness of the sport as well,” said the two-time Dubai World Superseries champion.
“It’s really important for grassroots programmes like Shuttle Time to raise awareness of the sport. There might be a lot of people who like sport but maybe are not familiar with badminton. So especially here it’s a good initiative and I hope more kids will get their eyes on badminton. And with these initiatives they will have opportunities to try it, so I think it’s important. Hopefully more and more kids will start playing due to initiatives like Shuttle Time.”
BWF Development Chair David Cabello was thrilled with the achievement of the milestone.
“Shuttle Time Dubai is a great example of how badminton has developed in a region which had limited exposure to badminton in earlier times. Over the last five years we have seen thousands of children take up the sport. There is a now a strong base of tutors and teachers who will continue to push the game forward in the region. Many congratulations to all our resource people and particularly our volunteers. Special thanks to Viktor for lending his presence on the memorable occasion.”