This is the sixth story in our Humans of Shuttle Time series, in which we present the perspectives of those who work on badminton development at the grassroots level. Elie Jean, Shuttle Time National Coordinator of Haiti, recounts his badminton journey:
My parents were farmers. They had to work very hard to take care of us. We had a very happy childhood. But following the death of my father when I was eight years old, everything became difficult for our family. We had to leave our native province and settle in the capital, leaving behind our modest life and all our past.
Everything was becoming difficult for our family. We had many painful moments. We experienced hunger and humiliation. But my courageous mother understood that education was the surest way to help us have a normal life, and she worked very hard to pay for our schooling. Now, thanks to her courage and foresight, I have a very promising social life. I have a master’s degree in social psychology, and I’m a sports promoter and member of the Haitian Badminton Federation, besides being father of two children.
Love at First Sight
I saw badminton for the first time at the Olympics 1996 and I was very impressed. Since that day, I became a badminton lover. Thanks to the internet, I started following all the latest developments in the game. In December 2014, I had the chance to work with the Haitian Badminton Federation as an adviser, and in 2018 I became national coordinator of the Shuttle Time Haiti programme.
What Badminton Means
Badminton means a lot to me. In a country like Haiti, where young people from disadvantaged communities are often involved in delinquency, badminton can help show them a better path. Badminton is a passion for me, a passion that I will continue to share with the children of Haiti.
Compared to other sports, badminton is easier to apply at clinics for beginners. It’s a sport that involves endurance, skill and intelligence.
Impact of Shuttle Time
As coordinator of the Haiti Shuttle Time programme, I participate in the development of badminton in my community. Thanks to this programme, badminton is present in almost all schools. More and more young people in my region are playing badminton, and this has considerably reduced juvenile delinquency.
Other Stories in This Series