Shuttle Time teachers, a Para badminton coach and the Badminton Papua New Guinea president have laid down their rackets and put their hands to good use amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joining a handful of other Paralympians and local community groups, the compassionate volunteers have helped organise and distribute hundreds of meals to a local food bank project in Port Moresby.
Donations to the NCD ‘Feed The Hungry’ campaign have been flooding in from local citizens and businesses to be delivered to the groups most affected by the pandemic – the homeless, deprived families and those with disabilities.
Badminton PNG President Kinivanagi Karo is leading the packaging and storage workforce, which includes the nation’s Para badminton coach Brian Karo.
The PNG-Australia partnership with the Australian Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs provides aid to deliver Shuttle Time sessions in PNG, which has a focus on the theme inclusion.
The initiative celebrated international success earlier this year as participants from the sessions went on to medal at the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2020.
Now, the team can give back to the same community.
“We want to demonstrate that sport is always here to help the community,” says Kinivanagi Karo.
“It’s great to assist a community which is so close to our badminton community too.”
The team is almost a week into its services, which started by cleaning out a large venue before creating a highly efficient system to organise the food bags. Distribution started across Port Moresby on Saturday and the food collections are set to continue until the end of May.
The avid Shuttle Time Schools Programme teachers and PNG badminton community members hope to soon be joined by some of their Para badminton players when lockdown laws ease in their respective areas.
** First published on Badminton Oceania website by Tom Leonard.