Badminton Life

Haiti to get 1,000 badminton rackets

A thousand badminton rackets will be sent to Haiti to help rehabilitate young people and assist them in overcoming long-lasting traumas after the January earthquake.

Collecting rackets will be supported by some of the world's most famous players, including Taufik Hidayat, the 2004 Olympic champion from Indonesia, Pi Hongyan, the world number four from France, Zhou Mi, the former world number one from China, Koo Kien Keat, the world number one men's doubles player from Malaysia, and Nathan Robertson, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist from Britain.

The idea is the brain-child of Raphael Sachetat, a badminton writer from France, and was announced today at the 100th All-England championships at Britain's National Indoor Arena.

Sachetat, the founder of a charity organisation called Solibad, said: "Most of us know of the therapeutic and social qualities of playing badminton, and helping young survivors in Haiti to play the game can become a very healing way to help re-integrate them into society."

Solibad is running the appeal in collaboration with Peace and Sport, founded by Joel Bouzhou, four times Olympic modern pentathlon champion, and, with the help of the Haitian Olympic Committee the two organisations will be aiming to get the rackets to Haitian eight to 20-year-olds.

After the earthquake, the Haiti Olympic Committee launched a program called Sports Activities for Young People in conjunction with UNICEF.

This supervises 100,000 of the most disoriented young people through daily sports activities and provides psychosocial and educational support. Among the activities are football, volleyball, judo, chess, tennis and badminton.

The badminton appeal, called A Thousand Rackets for Haiti, was developed after Sachetat heard through the Badminton World Federation of Peace and Sport's work, and offered to organise the collecting of rackets.

Source from AFP

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