World Mental Health Day: Badminton Joy for Orphans

World Mental Health Day: Badminton Joy for Orphans

BWF Development has long invested in and collaborated with organisations around the world as part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Helping provide badminton equipment, logistics arrangement and Shuttle Time teachers, and courses over the years to hundreds of orphanages and children is something BWF takes great pride in.

This World Mental Health Day, BWF celebrates its partnerships with two Malaysian organisations that have made great strides with orphaned children from underprivileged backgrounds in addressing mental health issues through badminton.

Face-to-face activities were originally scheduled to begin in 2020 but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of many activities to commemorate World Badminton Day took place in July 2022, with the goal of bringing children together through their love of badminton.

Rumah Mega Orang Asli Chief Warden Ling Boon Ming runs fortnightly badminton activities for children aged 6-17 in Bandar Sri Damansara, 35km from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Thanks to trained BWF Shuttle Time Teacher Muzairee, children have the opportunity to practice badminton in a safe environment, make new friends and discuss mental health issues they may be experiencing.

“We have between 10-20 children attending our badminton programme every two weeks,” said Ling.

“Some introverted children suffer from a lack of confidence but after participating in the programme for a few weeks, we noticed a wonderful change in their behaviour. They are showing themselves to be more outspoken, more confident and are making new friends.

“When children come to our centre, they forget their troubles and focus on being a child – have fun and experience all the joy badminton brings. It has been great for their physical and mental health.”

Ming believes badminton is great for children’s physical and mental health.

The Fuzi Magic Good Will Society helps run a number of orphanages across Kuala Lumpur. In addition to running badminton activities, founder Fuzi Hanim has a specially developed counselling programme directly addressing children with mental health issues under their leadership module.

“We encourage children to talk about mental health and ask us for help with anything they need,” Hanim said.

“Approximately 15 children have benefitted from the programme,” she added as she revealed Fuzi Magic hopes to deliver weekly mental health awareness seminars, both in a group and one-to-one setting.

“There’s a pattern of children having suicidal thoughts, confidence issues and a lack of self-care. We hope our programme can continue to change them for the better and be a guide, on top of teaching new skills in badminton. Our programme is about children healing, inspiring, empowering and discovering themselves.

“I’ve found the children to be so cheerful – they laugh, run around and discover the elation of badminton. We see them opening their hearts to us and with that, we can help them tackle mental health issues.

“More and more children are participating, and this can only be a wonderful thing.”

Visit the BWF Development website to discover more.

Hanim can see the joy badminton brings to children in a way to positively impact mental health.