While the top stars were competing for the titles of three major events on the Calendar during the Indonesia Badminton Festival in Bali, a lot was done behind the scene, to collect equipment to send to Solibad's programs in Indonesia run by Yayasan Bintang Kidul, including the very last one to have been created, in one of the poorest villages in the very heart of Bali's Island.
There was glamour, amazing parties, incredible matches during the three back to back tournaments held in Bali - Indonesia Masters, Indonesia Open and the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, held in the Convention Center of the Island of Gods. But there was also a huge amount of Solidarity shown by the players and a lot of people to help raise awareness and help Solibad's project.
Tse Ying Suet's "Lucky rainbow" laces
Hong Kong's top ace Tse Ying Suet was touched by the story of the children of Solibad and decided to start wearing one of Solibad's rainbow lace on her shoes (and the Solibad mask) while competing, and expressing over her social media why she was wearing only one - to make a stand. Not too long after, an article in Hong Kong's famous Sports online magazine Sportsroad made the news go viral all over the city, and in a matter of a few days, over 500 pairs of the Solibad shoe laces were ordered in Hong Kong by Tse Ying Suet's fans. She was not the only one to wear the now famous laces - so did Ashwini Ponnappa from India, Stefani Stoeva from Bulgaria, Anona Pak from New Zealand, Pearly Tan and Tinaah Muralitharan from Malaysia, Yeo Jia Min from Singapore, Yvonne Li from Germany (whose commitment to give 1% of her yearly
Prize money for Solibad, like Greysia Polii was great news given their successful runs in the three events) as well as Sapsiree "Popor" Terratanachai, whose celebration on finals's day went also viral online with her feet - and laces up in the air ! As for Hans Kristian Vittinghus, he wore our logo on his shirt with a brilliant run in the Indonesia Masters !
From top stars to "Solibad kids"
Since the three events were held behind close doors - with no spectators allowed - the Indonesian fans still wanted to show their support to their idols. And this was the beginning of the crazyness. Each day, dozens of presents were brought by the staff of the hotel to a huge corridor where players would pick their daily presents - all kinds of food, local clothing, bags, presents of many different kind and hundreds of plushes. As the top players were immensely grateful to their fans but could not find any way to bring back with them so many presents, some decided to give it to the children of Solibad's programs and this was all organized and collected by the fantastic team of staff run by Monika - three huge boxes and dozens of presents were packed and sent to the programs (more on that in a next article). Even Viktor Axelsen's daughter, the daughter of Viktor, who could unfortunately not take back with her her favorite Teddy Bear (she did play a lot with him until she had to let it stay in Bali), made a very happy kid in Tabanan, Bali.
But that wasn't all. As top players were sharing their own presents, some also gave their very own equipment - Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva gave a lot of their former clothing including some shoes, As did Michelle Li from Canada with "lucky shoes" which will be soon given to one of the program's best prospects. Umpires Philip Ayoung-Chee who delivered some great rackets from his friend Jimmy from USA, Artur Zaluzhnoi who brought some shoes as well - and some others who had been already super active in previous tournaments - the Sudirman Cup for Freek Cox, Iris Metspalu and Bert Vanhorenbeek, added their own donations. Last but not least, Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis
had the brilliant idea to give away all the shuttles they had used for training during the competition - some super high quality shuttlecocks that will be incredibly useful for the program in Bali, who have been playing with the same feathered shuttlecocks for weeks. A big thank you also to Satoshi and Berry from Yonex and its stringing team, who kept a bunch of rackets used by players involved in the competition with minor defects for the programs - these will also be distributed to the children of Solibad, who definitely see Christmas before time.