The joint project between SOLIBAD and the Foundation « Peace and Sport », called “1,000 rackets for Haiti” aims to collect Badminton equipment around the world to help 8 to 20 year-old Haitian youngsters living in survivor camps to overcome their trauma and to resume living together in confidence.
“1,000 rackets for Haiti” was born when Raphael Sachetat President and Founder of Solibad, heard through the Badminton World Federation’s development officers about Peace and Sport’s appeal to the sports world. He immediately contacted Peace and Sport and offered to organize the collection of badminton equipment.
Under the auspices of the Haitian Olympic Committee
After the earthquake of January 12, the HOC launched a program called “Sports Activities for Young People” in collaboration with UNICEF. The aim of this program is to supervise 100,000 of the most disoriented young people (aged 8 to 20) through daily sports activities as well as providing psychosocial and educational support.
Activities include football, volleyball, basketball, judo, gymnastics, chess, tennis and, of course badminton. Structured practice of these disciplines is designed to overcome the trauma and facilitate social reintegration of the youngsters involved.
UPDATE – January 2013
The project is now somehow merging with another project driven by our partner Peace and Sport together with the BWF – the Badminton World Federation. Through the project called « Shuttle Time », the BWF and Peace and Sport are currently educating Physical Education Teachers so that they can then use badminton as a tool to educate children, bring them back to school and learn sport and its values. Kaveh Mehrabi, who was at the origin of the project with Solibad in 2011, is now part of Peace and Sport, has launched an event « Ironman for Haiti » which aims at raising funds for this project and Solibad has decided to sponsor this event with a donation of 2500 €, to go to the project in Haiti.
Given the experience and knowledge of Peace and Sport in this area and the fact that we were working together at the origin of the project, the Solibad Board felt like this was the most efficient way we could continue to make a difference in Haiti for the children and we are very happy to help BWF and Peace and Sport to achieve this same goal we had when we launched the project « 1000 rackets for Haiti »
UPDATE – April 2011
The project is now entering a second phase, where we plan to have another coaching lesson with one of our Ambassadors. This time, Solibad will be financing the whole coaching session, after Peace and Sport had been financing the first one. The idea is now to build on the ground that had been set up during our first mission. A field trip is scheduled in the summer of 2011 with the same number of coaches and PE teachers from all over Haiti (around 20) so that they have the tools and the knowledge.
In Parallel, some joint efforts are put to try to build some badminton clubs in Haiti, which would be the first steps towards a National Federation which will eventually become a new member of the BWF. The 700 rackets + equipment have now reached Haiti and are ready to be used.
UPDATE – Dec 2010
A first mission saw Peace and Sport Champion for Peace Kaveh Mehrabi, Dutch coach James Tjan, Peace and Sport’s Coordinator Sylvain Henault and Solibad President Raphael Sachetat fly to Port au Prince, Haiti’s Capital, on October 31st until Nov 3rd 2010.
A coaching clinic was given to 22 local Physical Education teachers so that they can go back to their school and to camps to teach badminton to the children. More than 700 rackets and hundreds of shuttles and sports equipment were collected through this project already and sent to Haiti, so that the children have the means to play the sport and forget about their living condition in the camp.
The trip to Haiti was a clear success and is only a beginning in what will be one of SoliBad’s regular concern when raising money and collecting equipment in the future.
International Player Kaveh Mehrabi takes a leading role
Iranian badminton player Kaveh Mehrabi has spontaneously offered to get involved and be the link between the badminton community and Peace and Sport’s actions. Already a “Champion of Peace” – a club of 40 high-level athletes supporting Peace and Sport’s worldwide activities – Kaveh is enthusiastic about the undeniable benefits of sport in giving guidance to young people.
Thanks to Kaveh’s charisma and generous personality, and through SoliBad’s network, a first donation of rackets, nets and other equipment (T-shirts, sport clothing, etc) that has been sent in 2010. The HOC badminton classes in camps could then get underway.