The centres, located across Dubai, are the next step in the growth of the sport at the grassroots level and will serve as a talent identification and development pathway for local children participating in the after-school programmes.
In partnership with the Dubai Sports Council, four schools were selected as the venues for the 14-week training programme. All of the schools have previously been involved in the Shuttle Time teacher training and coaching development programmes, and as a result have the trained personnel required to deliver them. The Local Training Centres are located at Dubai National School in Al Barsha; Dubai International School in Al Quoz; Al-Ebdaa Model School in Al Twar, and Salahuddin Sports Hall in Al Mamzar (Al Ahmadiya School and Ahmed Sulayem School).
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund was in Dubai yesterday, and visited the centre at Dubai National School (below).
“The development of the Shuttle Time Dubai Local Training Centres is another huge step forward in the development of badminton here in Dubai,” said Lund.
“It is encouraging to see that Dubai is taking a very strategic approach to promoting the sport and increasing participation levels, and it is already paying dividends. Teacher education courses were held last year, and many of the teachers have now completed their BWF Level 1 courses and have become accredited specialised coaches. The location of the centres has been selected based on the availability of the qualified coaches, so these children are receiving quality instruction right from the outset which is critical.”
Shuttle Time Dubai was introduced as part of the partnership between the Dubai Sports Council and the BWF to bring the Dubai World Superseries Finals to Dubai each December from 2014 to 2017. Lund, who was in Dubai to visit the centre at Dubai National School in Al Barsha, is delighted with the growth of the grassroots programme.
Speaking about the future of the sport in Dubai, Lund said: “We need to build on the fantastic progress that has already been made and continue on our path of creating qualified coaches out of school teachers. The launch of these centres comes as great news and we all look forward to witnessing talent developing in Dubai in the coming years.”
Each centre is offering coaching by qualified BWF Level 1 coaches for two hours a day, three times a week for 14 weeks for 30-50 children.
Lund, former two-time World champion in Mixed Doubles, took some time out to play a few shots with some of the children participating in the Training Centre programme. Young badminton player Khalifa Khaled (BWF home page), 13, was delighted to have the opportunity to play against him, saying: “It’s great to have the Training Centre programme here at school. We train three days a week, we have a lot of fun and we are learning so much, it’s helping me and I’m gaining a lot of skills. The coaches are great, they train us well and help us. And it was fun to play against Thomas, he is a really fantastic player!”
Lund also met with organisers of the season-ending Dubai World Superseries Finals to assess progress on the organization of the event, and was enthusiastic about the calibre of the competition that will be held 9-13 December at Hamdan Sports Complex.
“We are looking forward to the World Superseries Finals. Importantly, this year’s event is part of the qualification process for Rio 2016. Qualification is done on a points system and the World Superseries Finals is one of the events with the highest number of points available – so every match counts. With the added pressure this year the World Superseries Finals promises to be even more exciting than ever. The players have been here once and they really enjoyed it, it’s an event they want to come back to and win.
“The facilities here are superb, and with a great grassroots programme and a fantastic World Superseries Finals to look forward to, Dubai is fast becoming the new home for world badminton.”