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The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN) in collaboration with CSED Initiative, Benue State Badminton Association and Benue State Sports Council recently held a three-day (25 to 27 April 2024) Shuttle Time training event at the Makurdi Club 1930 Badminton Section. This hybrid teachers/students training event was attended by twenty-four P.E. teachers and seventy-five students that were drawn from 18 secondary schools in the state.

The Shuttle Time school programme is aimed at giving every child the chance to play badminton and also encourage other age groups to play the game. The training sessions were facilitated by the Shuttle Time National Coordinator, Suleiman Tajudeen and Zonal Tutor, Nguamo Patricia Akpusugh. During the training sessions, teachers were taught teachers how to engage with school students, lead badminton training sessions, facilitate safe fun training activities, group management etc. The teachers were taught the theory and practical aspect of the game of badminton.

Speaking at the training event, Suleiman Tajudeen explained that Shuttle Time is a programme that is designed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to provide easy access to children and youths at the grassroots level to learn the basics of the game of badminton with the support of their teachers in a fun filled and safe environment. The Shuttle Time training is one of the few sports training event where students and teachers learn together at the same time.

A Zonal Tutor of Shuttle Time in Nigeria, and the Benue State number one female badminton player, Nguamo Patricia Akpusugh stated that Shuttle Time is aimed at harnessing badminton talents at the grassroots and integrating badminton into school sports programme. The President of Makurdi Club 1930, Salem Atsehe expressed delight with the programme organisers and commended the Chairman of Benue State Badminton Association, Sam Adinngi and the State Badminton Coach Agbo Onazi for attracting the training event to the state.

The overall feedback received from teachers and students that attended the training event is that they found the training event to be enjoyable, and they wished the duration of the training should be more. At the end of the training event, basic badminton equipment (rackets, shuttlecocks and nets) were provided to representatives of the eighteen schools.

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