Here are some amazing people that all have in common to be part of the big Badminton family and to be very close to Solibad. Through the challenges they have face or will face, through their lifestyle, they promote Solibad all around the world and have contributed, in their own ways, to the development of our actions. And to make Solibad shine a bit more, and in a different way.
Maxime Francois is a young man who is the first one to have joined the Solibad team with a crazy « non badminton » idea in his mind : Cycle his own « Tour de France » on his bike, at the same time as the pro cyclists, but through a different pattern – he wanted to make a stop in all the French badminton Clubs which were happy to sign the Solibad charter. In the summer of 2013, he cycled more than 3000 kms, alone with no outside help, though winds and rain, heat and dust, in order to promote Solibad in local clubs.
22 clubs have signed our charter during his visits and he’s lived an incredible experience. It was clearly a big challenge for him – Maxime is one of the top 50 badminton players in France but was only riding his bike to go to the University before he started training hard for this adventure !
When he got back to Paris, that same summer, he decided to start up a new charity association to work closely with Solibad « Association Sportive des Sans Abris » (Sports association for homeless) and this will help developp one of Solibad’s new project in France for 2014 and 2015. Maxime has also started cycling again – he is now preparing to beat the world record of home trainer (a still bike) distance in 24h, together with another badminton shuttler, Joran Love. The record tentative – still under Solibad colours – will be held on June 7th in Boulogne-Billancourt, few miles away from the home of the French Badminton Open.
Frederic Benoist is an extraordinary adventurer. PE teacher during the day, he spends all his free time and holidays on his competition scooter. After crossing part of Australia in 2013 – almost 3200 kms, he is back on track for another crazy adventure this summer. Fred will cross the USA, from Miami to San Francisco on his Scooter. Which is about 6000 kms from July 4th to August 23rd.
He has not only an amazing fitness, but also a great heart : As a badminton player for more than 25 years, one of the founder of the small club of Bry Sur Marne (where Solibad’s headquarters are), Fred decided to give a solidarity twist to his adventures, and will give part of the money he gets from sponsors and donations to two Charities – Solibad and « The Adventures of Nohann », named after a 7year old French handicaped boy, who struggles to get an ordinary life because of his genetic disease.
Fred, all along his journey through the USA, will try to visit badminton clubs, promote Solibad and try to make them sign the Solibad Charter – somehow in the same way as Maxime did in France.
« Somehow, this journey conveys all of my passion – Scooter, Badminton, travelling, meeting others and making a small difference somehow, somewhere if I can. So I’m thrilled to be crossing the USA for this cause and I’m really looking forward to it » said Frederic.
Renaud Singevin is another crazy French badminton player. If he has left high level competition for some time, he is still remembered by his great sense of humour – which made his best friends doubt when he totally lost his memory for a few weeks after a bad fall, few years ago. But after all went back to normal, Renaud had not forgotten his will to make a difference in the life of needing children.
He is now a professional Poker player. And has decided to go for his first World tour – no strings attached and dedicate all his time to travel, meet other people, and share his adventure online, with something else in the back of his mind. « Playing Poker can be quite self-centred. When we lose, we lose alone. It’s all because of our own bad decision – or luck. When we win, we win alone too. I thought that when or If I win some money, I’d want to share it with someone who needs it. I’ve known Solibad for quite some time now and I’m impressed with the kind of work that they do. So, I have decided to give 5% of all my wins in official Poker tournaments to this charity for their actions around the world » said Renaud.
He will leave France in May of 2014 and tour the world to compete in Poker competitions. He might get lucky at Casino tables in Las Vegas, Sydney, Macau, but the money he will give to Solibad will only come from official Poker competitions, which are quite similar to any sport – with strict rules, physical preparation, and where only the best succeed thanks to their knowledge of the game. He will wear Solibad colours along the way, and promote the foundation whenever he’s asked by Media or potential sponsors…
Badminton player, self-educated artisan of life and sharing (as he defines himself) and explorer in his spare time, Luc will soon start a fabulous journey around the world. The expected trip, that might change and evolve, will take him through 60 countries on 4 continents. It won’t be easy since Luc would like to incorporate an athletic element to his journey. Climbing summits, kayaking on lakes or on rivers, and other activities will be on the agenda.
His goal, or more like his desire, is to conciliate adventure and humanitarian. He doesn’t conceive to go on this journey alone with his “shell” on his back, or to live this dream by himself. A global project has been built around values he learnt over his life. He wants to discover the world, its natures, its men and women and their culture. He wants to share and exchange with them, give to them as much as they’ll give to him. The rural and mountainous areas will be favored to allow a good contact with local people and conciliate this aspect with the athletic component.
However, since this project cannot exist without a humanitarian purpose, Luc associates “Handicap International” (he has been close to them for years) to his journey, and “Solibad” that he learned about through his badminton club. He hopes that he will be able to help small local projects encountered along the way.
His trip, starting in September 2017, will last about two years. For now, Luc is trying on his equipment and perfecting his physical condition.
Our Australian friend Geraldine Yam will soon go on a big tour riding her bike. She wants to use this tour to raise some funds and awareness for the program of Solibad VFI in Laos which targets to help young women victims of human trafficking.
She plans on bringing a racket with her to play with local clubs and children along the way..
She will cross these countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Iran, Turkey.
If you want to meet her, talk to her about Solibad (sign our Charter), thank you for letting us know and she will try to visit you. She’ll also promote the “Badminton without Borders “ philosophy.
More information for the dates of her way through in these various countries later.