Badminton group brings Shuttle Time to Agape students

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(Press Release) — The Northern Marianas Badminton Association wrapped up the 2019 season on a positive note by introducing Shuttle Time to students of Agape Christian Academy.

Shuttle Time, according to the Badminton World Federation, offers school access to free resources, training, and equipment to support the teaching of enjoyable and safe badminton activities to children in the 5 to 15 age groups. BWF, the international governing body for the sport of badminton as recognized by the International Olympic Committee, launched the program in 2012 with the goal of making badminton one of the world’s most popular and accessible school sports. Seven years after its inception, Shuttle Time has reached over 130 countries, across five continental regions, including Oceania Badminton of which NMBA is a member.

Nate Guerrero, Janelle Pangilinan, and Ezekiel Macario, who represented NMBA and the CNMI to the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa last summer, assisted more than 40 students from Agape for more than one hour, teaching them the basics of badminton and conducting drills that helped participants work on their footwork and coordination.

“We are very happy to see a lot of you coming out here to learn badminton. Keep the interest in the sport and keep practicing,” Guerrero said.

Agape’s principal, Pastor Kok H. Pang, thanked NMBA for making the program available to the students who have been active in the sports community and are always eager to learn new games.

“We encouraged are students to be passionate not only in their studies, but also in other activities in their lives, including sports. We want to see our students enjoy playing sports and not spending too much time playing video games. Sports will help them stay healthy, and allow them to develop teamwork and other positive attitudes that they can use to be successful in life,” Pang said.

The Agape principal added that badminton is something that their students will definitely enjoy since it is played indoor and the Torchbearers just finished constructing their multi-purpose gymnasium at the campus compound on Middle Road.

NMBA president Merlie Tolentino said they plan to introduce Shuttle Time to more schools next season. By reaching out to schools, NMBA is aiming to discover young players who may represent the CNMI in regional competitions, such as the Pacific Mini Games, which Saipan will be hosting in 2021.

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