Swiss Badminton collaborated with Bern (BC) University recently on a project to integrate Swiss-based refugees through “It’s Shuttle Time for Peace” programme.
Marking World Refugee Day and targeting children under 18, the “It’s Shuttle Time for Peace” event that took place on 30 April aimed to promote the joys and inclusion badminton can bring by providing refugees and children with access to free training sessions in alliance with the capital city university.
The United Nations (UN) estimates that up to 14 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion by Russia in February 2022. Swiss Badminton aims to help those escaping conflict to settle in Switzerland, not only from Ukraine but other countries too. BWF believes sport has the power to inspire and unite.
BC University holds regular badminton events for children and teenagers, partnering with the government and local schools to promote the world’s fastest racket sport and marketing it through its channels.
Sabrina Jaquet, 2017 European Championships bronze medallist, was in attendance for the event to play a showcase match with other professional players in front of over 50 child refugees and their families at the University. After the match, children were encouraged to participate in free training sessions supported by the Shuttle Time Switzerland programme, and for the upcoming weeks also.
Thomas Richard, Shuttle Time Trainer of BC University, spoke of his delight after the event:
“We would like to thank Swiss Badminton for their great support and especially the four top players Sabrina, Nadia, David and Forian who brought the sport of badminton in all its dynamism closer and presented prizes in an extremely friendly manner.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the BWF for its great work on behalf of what is probably the largest school sports project in the world. I am happy to be involved from the very beginning as a representative of Switzerland and today I am amazed at the perseverance and strength with which the BWF and all those involved have built up and expanded the programme step-by-step. I know of no comparable school sports programme anywhere in the world and I am convinced that this commitment to our sport will pay off many times over. I hope that the programme will continue for many years to come and that it will continue to develop with the same effort at all levels.”
“Wow, we are really excited about this event. My son really enjoyed it. Swiss Badminton did an unbelievably great job!” added one father of a child refugee regarding his son’s first experience with badminton.
Nicola Schneiter, Shuttle Time national coordinator from Swiss Badminton who helped put the event together revelled in its achievement, revealing:
“I’m very proud of the action BC Uni Bern has taken in order to make the best out of this horrible situation. They have made a huge effort on a private basis and I’m sure that the successful event will serve as a perfect example for other clubs in Switzerland to act similarly. Shuttle Time works as a good instrument for children to get into badminton, even if they do not have any previous experience in playing Badminton. Together with the local children from the club, their siblings/parents and some top athletes, they may experience a day full of fun and joy.”
Look out for more Shuttle Time activities on our site.