AirBadminton launch on Saturday
THE Lesotho Badminton Association will launch AirBadminton at Sefika High School in Maseru on Saturday.
Association president Moneoang Leshota told the media during a press briefing in Maseru this week that the event dubbed AirBadminton Day will be sponsored by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
AirBadminton Day is expected to launch the new outdoor badminton game and market it.
“The event is meant to launch the outdoor badminton which uses a special airshuttle (outdoor shuttlecock) that is resistant to wind,” Leshota said.
“The airshuttle was formally launched in 2019 to the badminton community and it is a welcome development, especially for countries like Lesotho with no indoor sports facilities.”
Ten competitions are expected to be held on the day with winners walking home with medals in both the elite and the beginners’ category.
Exhibitions of indoor badminton and parabadminton will also be held at the event.
BWF membership grants were initiated for the first time in 2020 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, their events were postponed to this year.
Leshota said the BWF membership grants programme is a four-year initiative instituted by BWF to assist all its 196 members countries in specific areas as determined by the specific needs of each members.
For the next four years, Lesotho is prioritising four areas for assistance namely; improvement and development in administration, coaching, schools’ badminton and technical officials.
In 2020, BFW committed US$5000 (about M71 000) to Lesotho which Leshota said would be used for strategic and operational plan development, national tournaments, technical official development and the introduction of airbadminton.
Last month the association held a three-day strategic and operational planning workshop in Maseru. Leshota said the workshop helped them draw up their 2021 activity plan on the schools’ badminton project called Shuttle time project. It involves talent identification, technical officials’ development, competitions and realigning of their constitution with those of BWF and the Badminton Confederation of Africa.
Although badminton is not a new sport in Lesotho, the association only got Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) membership in 2019 and that of the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) last year.