Badminton Australia Para Badminton Coach Ian Bridge recently secured funding from Paralympics Australia for automatic shuttle feeders and lightweight wheelchairs to be used as part of the national Para Badminton development program.
Having multiple automatic shuttle feeders solves a small but often challenging problem for Para players in hand feeding shuttles to one another. Although players are more than capable of smashing winners over the net, hand feeding shuttles is different. Not only will relief be given to players, but coaches will no doubt benefit from the automatic feeders, allowing them to focus on the players technique and movements from any angle. Freedom for coaches to move around the court while players are still hitting shuttles will ‘add extra quality to the sessions, particularly for group training’ said National Para Badminton Coach Ian Bridge.
The feeders will be moved around with required demand, particularly those that have developing para badminton players with an eye towards Tokyo 2020, 2021 and 2023 World Championships. Not only will these feeders help develop the players for International competition but for grassroots players in the areas that the feeders are currently available. The feeders can allow for larger groups at training and provide an overall boost in efficiency.
Alongside the shuttle feeders are four lightweight wheelchairs that are appropriate for playing badminton. One of the big challenges in beginning Para Badminton for players in wheelchairs is access to chairs that are light and dynamic enough to move around the court. The lightweight chairs are an expensive investment for a player to make, particularly early on in their career. The hope with these new chairs is for them to reduce barriers associated to equipment for new and emerging players.
Badminton Australia would like to thank Paralympics Australia for providing Badminton with enough funding to secure these new items and is looking forward to the benefits that come from both automatic feeders and new lightweight chairs.
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