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Badminton: SBA launches new badminton academy

In collaboration with ActiveSG, the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) launched its academy yesterday morning at the Pasir Ris Sports Hall.

Called the SBA Badminton Academy, it is open for registration for children aged six to 17. The first sessions will start on June 3 at the Bedok, Clementi, Hougang, Jurong West, Pasir Ris and Yio Chu Kang sports centres.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng, who was the guest of honour at the launch, said: "The new SBA Badminton Academy will create opportunities for more young Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds to enjoy the sport."

Targeted at youth who play badminton recreationally, there are two programmes to choose from - beginner and elementary. The programmes cost $300 and $360 respectively for 12 sessions.

The curriculum for beginners, which was developed by the Badminton World Federation, will mainly focus on basic skill development, using a fun approach through games and activities. The elementary curriculum will focus more on skills development at a higher level, with a more game-centric approach.

Each session will last two hours and every participant will receive a badminton racket along with the academy T-shirt.

Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said: "This is really an SBA initiative; what (SportSG) do is we come in with support for the provision of court bookings.

"ActiveSG has a good network of outreach to schools. It will assist the SBA in being able to introduce their programmes to various school children who want to take up badminton."

The coaching team at the academy will be led by former national Olympian Jiang Yanmei.

While there are other private badminton academies in Singapore, SBA secretary-general Michael Foo said: "We are certainly not taking the rice bowl of other coaches.

"Instead, we are trying to partner with them by equipping them with more skills and upgrade their coaching methods, so if everyone has these skills, our badminton pipeline is secure from the start."