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EMERGENCY CALL FOR HELP - Indonesia
A terrible fire totally destroyed the shanties of 18 of our young badminton players from the garbage dump in Bekasi! We were there with them just 3 weeks ago, all was normal and yesterday morning they called us crying... They’ve lost everything! They had nothing…now they have less than nothing!
Solibad and Yayasan Bintang Kidul are collecting funds to help them to eat, to go back to school (no uniform & no shoes = no school) and to rebuild their dwellings! Together we can help!
Thank you for any help, on their behalf You can help by making a donation here
MARCH'AGASCAR - 125 km for 2400 Smiles...
What on earth had bitten us? But then, sometimes you have to give a little of yourself! And when it's for a good cause... A few months ago, Cindy, our President Raphaël's sister-in-law, suggested we go hiking. Challenge accepted ! And to combine "business" with pleasure, they decided to go hiking for one of Solibad's programs. What could be more natural, since Cindy is originally from Madagascar, than to raise funds for our partner program 2400 sourires and this magnificent idea of building a village for street children. Mathis, her 1.92m tall son, joins the adventure full of enthusiasm - he's doing his internship with the association this summer! And what better region to do this walk than Brittany, land of heather, hydrangeas, crêpes, love and weather variations (from bright sunshine to driving rain in a matter of minutes, to spice up the challenge a little)? So here we are, three troublemakers on a bus headed for Treguier, in the Côtes d'Armor region, for a 6-day, 110 km walk between this little port and Lannion. Daily stages of between 15 and 30 kms (that last one really stung!), with a variety of accommodations - from tents with their uncomfortable camp beds, to yurts, to the superb hotel in Perros-Guirrec (there was no more room anywhere else on August 15), or to the little hut belonging to the ever smily Aurélien and his "Camping de l'Espérance"- our backs met with varying fortunes, but always, always we kept our good spirits. Feet and lower spines took a bit of a beating at times, but the encounters, the landscapes - grandiose - and the good humor were always there, and the kilometers flew by. Well, please forgive us if our stories on our social networks weren't all that funny (we do what we can:)), but the comments from our friends and families, badminton players from France and abroad - put a smile on our faces and hearts. What's more, the donations that poured in exceeded our initial, symbolic target of 2,400 euros for the 2,400 smiles in the name of our partner association. The faces of Tsanta, Santara, Josoa, Harena, Tsiresy and Laurent, 6 of the Malagasy children we had chosen to highlight on this walk, on behalf of all the others who will benefit from this fund-raising campaign, were of course on our minds on a daily basis. If you're in the area, don't hesitate to visit the Plougrescant chasm, Ploumana'ch and its pink lace, Tregastel, Landrellec and all those little coastal villages that change at low tide, with their breathtaking scenery. After 6 days' walking, covering almost 125 kilometers, we've succeeded in our challenge - at the time of writing, the total raised was 2800 euros. This money corresponds to the sponsorship of 6 children for one year - 6 little lives that will be drastically changed thanks to your generosity, above all, and our little efforts - which were amply rewarded by our pleasure in walking these coastal paths, dipping our lips in bowls of cider, tasting the fresh waves and the local galettes-saucisses. Laughing, too, a lot, because that's what our philosophy is all about - doing things seriously, without taking ourselves too seriously. We took this maxim at its word, with a lot of lightness (except for the backpack :)) and humor, and with the joy of contributing our little stone to the edifice. Cindy, Mathis, Raph and our super host from Camping de l'Espérance, Aurélien. Kenavo! Find out more: A short summary video will soon be available, featuring some great drone shots! Donations are still possible until August 30, 2023 HERE Tsanta is one of the children who will soon benefit from the Village of Smiles. All thanks to you! And for those who would like to try their hand at this adventure one day, the GR34 "sentier des douaniers" (customs trail) circumnavigates Brittany from Mont St Michel to Saint Nazaire, sometimes flat, sometimes not, at least on the part we walked (Treguier-Lannion). But it's accessible to all ages - although we'd advise you to limit your daily stages to 15 or 20 km maximum, so that you'll have enough strength to go for a walk or even find somewhere to eat in the evening. All in all, a lot of fun! Our partner association: full program info HERE
Indonesia - An incredible Journey...
Raphael, President of Solibad, returns from a journey where he had the opportunity to visit several programs in Indonesia. He shares his feelings and experiences through a "travel journal." As often happens, this journey to Jakarta was going to shake up my certainties... Friday, June 16th. Departure for the 20th coverage of a tournament in Indonesia as a photographer for Badmintonphoto. In my luggage, the usual precious photography equipment to immortalize these magnificent athletes. But not only that. Also, a whole suitcase full of shoes of all sizes, rackets sent by badminton players from all corners of France in response to Solibad's call. Because this journey, almost initiatory, was going to take me far beyond my usual "Jakartan" comfort. Far into the countryside and mountains of Sumatra. Far into emotions. Those provoked by fatigue first, after a week of intense work on the courtside. Also because it was the last time the Indonesia Open was taking place in this legendary venue, Istora Senayan, which vibrates like no other with local enthusiasm. With the cries, laughter, and songs of the Indonesians who support these champions better than anyone else in the badminton world, champions who also acknowledge the magic of the place and pay tribute to this incredible audience and unforgettable venue. Before that, at the dawn of the competition, we took Kirsty Gilmour and Adam Hall, two of the top Scottish players, into the depths of Bekasi, a suburb of Jakarta, where Solibad has been supporting a program for a few years now, in a village situated near a monumental garbage dump. The two British players have been longstanding ambassadors, deeply involved, and for this occasion, they had collected equipment from their own country for the children. Monang and the other local coaches welcomed the two stars with their characteristic enthusiasm, while around forty kids listened attentively, smiling and thrilled to be able to exchange a few shuttlecocks. We were in an old and immense reception hall inside an abandoned building at the back of a dusty hotel in this suburb, where two badminton courts had been marked out. After the playtime and the numerous photos taken with the children and their mothers, who had come to enjoy the show, we hopped on the local motorbikes, driven by the older kids - starting from the age of 14 - to visit the families. For 10 minutes, we navigated through the narrow alleys of this village built entirely around the recycling industry, right where tons of garbage disgorged by the Indonesian capital are dumped every day. Every visit here is a shock. How can human beings have turned this place into their everyday reality? Kirsty and Adam, like everyone who passes through here, are deeply affected. We visit the families of these children who, just minutes ago, were playing on the field with our two amused Scots. The smiles have given way to emotions on the faces of these distinguished guests, stunned by the severity of this destitution. The children, however, have learned to smile in all circumstances. By culture. By necessity. Also, by joy when fate brings moments of sharing with the "outside" world. The return journey in the shuttle to the luxurious hotel where the players are staying provides an opportunity for our two athletes to express their disbelief. As for me, I am still under the spell of the emotions from the day spent with the children. Moreover, a few hours earlier, I had received a magnificent gift from one of the former scavengers, Ikbal, a young artist: a giant painting created from a photo stolen from my Facebook profile, made using hand-painted shuttlecock caps to recreate my face on this stunning colorful mural. Nearly 80 hours of work, just like that, to bring joy. And another life lesson for me... The week of the competition goes by, and incredibly lucky, three local badminton stars respond positively to our invitation to return to Bekasi and play with the children. Debby Susanto, former player of the national team, former world number 1, now a specialized journalist. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, one of the two biggest stars in the country, along with his doubles partner, across all sports. Mariska Gregoria Tunjung, currently ranked 9th in the world in singles. In turn, they find themselves on the court facing the "Bintang Kidul" or "Southern Stars," these little ones in their yellow uniforms, unbelievably thrilled to be able to interact with true icons. Just like Kirsty and Adam, the three Indonesian players dedicate their time with incredible empathy and kindness, whether it's in this gymnasium that doesn't resemble any they have ever set foot in, or when, after the traditional motorcycle ride, they find themselves in the midst of garbage. Each time, they take the time to engage with the young ones, their families, about their living conditions, dreams, and hopes that might involve badminton as a way to brighten their difficult daily lives in the future. Sumatra, Land of Badminton A few hours after the end of the competition, the entire team of Yayasan Bintang Kidul is bustling with activity for a memorable road trip to visit other programs supported by our association, especially in Sumatra. Yayasan Bintang Kidul, our partners, have established 10 badminton programs throughout Indonesia where this sport has been chosen to give young people, predominantly from disadvantaged families, the opportunity to engage in a mixed practice that is essential for their health. In a country where inactivity and poor dietary habits have devastating effects, particularly in rural or disadvantaged environments, these programs aim to promote physical activity, socialization, and solidarity, making a tangible difference. Leading this adventure are Dom and Blak, fantastic loving minds and hearts, who have been working for years with the underprivileged in cities and rural areas, believing that art, culture, education - and therefore, sports - offer opportunities and effective remedies for material and intellectual poverty, giving these children a real chance. Alongside them is a third partner, Ipunk, and together they have created a marvelous support structure. Heading to Padang, for the first stop on this island of Sumatra that I had never set foot on before. An incredible reception awaited me, with dances performed by young badminton players in traditional costumes, their eyes filled with pride. Solibad has been shining here for several years, on T-shirts and giant banners, yet they had never seen any representative before. Now, I am welcomed here like a prince, deeply moved and incredulous in the face of such kindness and attention. Suddenly, I become fully aware that the equipment sent, the financial aid we provide with our limited means, the time dedicated by all the volunteers from clubs, committees, leagues, and the donations from individuals and organizations have truly found resonance and purpose here and elsewhere. They bring happiness and hope to hundreds of children, thanks to you and us. The other stages of this journey will be just as remarkable, with warm handshakes from village chiefs, fantastic local coaches, and parents of young players who have embraced the idea that sports can make a difference. Some of them will become grassroot champions, while others will find a big family and mentors through coaches guiding them beyond the realms of sports and into the paths of life. Gratitude is omnipresent. Without Solibad, they say, most of these children wouldn't have the means to buy shoes or rackets or even participate in any activity. The journey continues to Harau, a few kilometers from a little paradise of rice fields nestled between mountains, where a magnificent gymnasium, entirely built from coconut wood, hosts a competition created for the occasion, where four Solibad-BIntang clubs from the region come together. It's a beautiful celebration where the best players compete, and the youngest ones gaze in awe at the talent displayed by those who wear the same T-shirt as them. The day is interspersed with a meal enjoyed sitting on the ground, on large banana leaves, with delicious local dishes eaten by hand, as 80 excited kids radiate joy. As soon as the prizes are given out (rackets and shoes!), it's already time to leave. Some have several hours of travel ahead, while others, not much less, will be squeezed together, laughing, at the back of a pickup truck. They are thrilled by this one-day adventure, where they made new friends and measured themselves against future stars. The final stage of the journey takes place in the middle of a school where two courts have been created on the lawn, awaiting the refurbishment of the official open-air court made of concrete. As always, we find some familiar faces. Solibad continues to shine here, in the middle of nowhere, through the smiles of these young players and their coaches, all passionately dedicated to this national sport that resonates differently there. It's like a pretext, a helping hand, and a call to hope, providing some lightness in their often heavy daily lives, symbolized perfectly by the feathered shuttlecocks. I leave Sumatra with a head full of memories, a heart full of emotions, having shared an extraordinary human adventure – all on behalf of everyone who works for Solibad, of course. My thoughts go to my travel companions, Tommy, Ahmad, Ibu K. "dot"com, Ipunk, and also Agustinus, an exceptional professional photographer who joined us, voluntarily, just the day before our departure, to share his genius and immortalize our actions with his camera and magical drone. And, of course, my deepest appreciation for Dominique and Blak, true everyday heroes, whose humility is inversely proportional to the immense joy they bring and the incredible positive impact they have on these communities – not only the children but their entire families, reviving these communities through art, music, culture, education, and badminton. It's an honor to accompany them, and I hope to do so for many more years to come... Photos and videos by Mikael Ropars and Agustinus Tri Mulyadi (drone).
Solibad Congo - Birth of the "Elikia Badminton" project
The partnership with the Humanis Congo Foundation took shape a few months ago, when its president, Dr Joe Borel aka "Dr JoBo", contacted Solibad. He came to our head office in Bry sur Marne to explain how he felt badminton could make a major contribution to helping people in difficulty - especially young people - in his native Congo. Naturally, we were already aware of the benefits of our favorite sport, and jumped on board the adventure, head first - with our hearts not far behind. Equipment would soon be on its way to Brazzaville, then Pointe-Noire, the other major city on the Atlantic coast, where Dr Borel would soon set up two new Solibad & Humanis clubs, in Dolisie and Sibiti, targeting beneficiaries in difficulty or unable to afford to take up sport without outside help. What's more, Dr. Borel's activities on site went far beyond the usual scope of our actions, but with a new lease of life in mind for equipment that we'd previously refused, due to a lack of beneficiaries: shoes in large sizes and textiles. And even computer equipment, donated by Crédit Foncier via Racing Club de France. "JoBo", a keen badminton player himself, has made badminton his hobbyhorse for a whole population of adults directly concerned by emergency aid: for several months now, Solibad and Humanis Congo have been supplying badminton equipment for the fire-fighters and first-aiders who train every day by playing badminton, to stay in shape and become more efficient when saving lives on the roads of the Congo ! But this first joint action could not stop there, and our destinies would continue to move in the same direction... Humanis Congo therefore wanted to invite two elected members of the Solibad board to seal this partnership in the field and explore other pragmatic ways of helping local populations. Loïc and Raphaël, respectively Vice-Chairman and Chairman of Solibad, travelled to Brazzaville from March 21 to 26 with the help of FECOBAD, the National Federation of Congo, which will in turn benefit from the joint action of the two foundations. Solibad's visit also coincided with the national championship in the capital, where the country's top players met. Among them were 7 players from the Pointe-Noire club, stamped Solibad/Humanis, some of whom had just had time to train for a few weeks with proper equipment and, at last, real badminton shoes... The athletes wearing the Association's colors defended themselves well, with bronze medals in several categories, notably for Prince (pictured), a 10-year-oldplayer whose parents and grandparents live in very precarious conditions, and for whom badminton represents a real chance to open up a brighter future... But Solibad's visit to the land of Kikango also led to another wonderful encounter. The first was with Humanis Congo's partner association: ALEDA, "l'Association les Enfants D'Abord", founded by the effusive and generous Rasheda Ondaye, "Madame la Présidente" as Jobo affectionately called her before teasing her with her first name. The meetings that followed, with ALEDA's direct beneficiaries, were to confirm Loïc and Raphael in their purpose on behalf of the Association: for, as its name suggests, the actions of this local association are aimed at the well-being of children in neglected areas, far from the towns. More precisely, in the province of MBanza Ndounga, almost 3 hours by road from Brazzaville. So Solibad went there, and in addition to the sore buttocks inherent in the "dents" of a road in pitiful condition, the difficult discovery of an environment of total precariousness and disuse... quickly swept away by the songs of the villagers and the laughter of the children when they saw the equally colorful logo of our new partner. Every time "Mama Rasheda" and her teams pass by, the same rhythms, the same swaying steps, the same handcuffs reaching for the cookies and sweets. The same hugs and kisses for this mother of all mothers. This time, of course, there was another surprise in the President's suitcases: two little white boys and their crazy idea of giving a clownish badminton demonstration. And the shy, quizzical smiles turned to thunderous applause and hilarity when Loïc missed the shuttlecock and hit the leaves of the Palabre tree in the center of the village. Soon, it was the children themselves who took up the rackets and half-inflated balloons. The coordination is there - a sign that this game of "stick and wheel" brings with it its share of dexterity. Before long, the plastic shuttlecocks are out of the bags, and it's with amazement that all the adults watch the children quickly master the trajectories. There's a lot of jumping around, but the sound of the shuttlecocks in the center of the rackets echoes loudly in the bush: a successful gamble. Badminton has been adopted. While the young and not-so-young continue to enjoy themselves like crazy for long minutes, the delegation visits the tiny dispensary a little further on. Here, women from the 36 neighboring communes come to give birth in spartan conditions. Just a few days ago, a padded maternity chair replaced a vulgar wooden plank with protruding splinters, still visible outside. But that's not enough - much more is needed, to ensure a minimum of hygiene for the women, and also the children, who regularly pass through this dispensary for the classic ailments of these parts, where simple infections, however easily treatable with antibiotics or simple disinfections, cause serious illness or even worse... A new program: "Elikia Compliance" - relative but essential - will therefore be Solibad's first financial contribution to ALEDA and the village, in this second phase of the project, in accordance with the charter of our respective Associations. A "coup de cœur" grant, as we sometimes offer, outside our more regular actions. But to sustain this new program with a budget that is unfortunately not extensible at Solibad - with already many projects to support - we now need to find a means of self-subsistence... Tripartite brainstorming and the desire to give greater visibility - and amplitude - to this obvious action, for us as well as our partners. The "Elikia" program was born, on paper, but very quickly, in the field, with these local experts in emergency aid, these big-hearted souls overflowing with generosity, both investing their personal assets. "Elikia" means "Hope" in Lingala, the language shared by the people of this region of sub-Saharan Africa. The hope that badminton will once again go beyond its original purpose as a sporting activity. That, in addition to its proven effectiveness in promoting diversity, self-confidence and general well-being, it will also provide a means of changing lives through original actions. Already, the idea of a solidarity store is gaining ground and should take shape in the coming weeks. It will benefit all local badminton players and their health, and much more besides... A short video teaser of our latest action in Congo A big thank you to all those who made this mission possible, first and foremost Dr. Joe Borel, ALEDA, its President Rasheda Ondaye and her friendly teams, the Congolese Badminton Federation - FECOBAD for its invitation, but also the invaluable help of the Congolese Embassy in Paris, His Excellency Ambassador Rodolphe Adada and his advisor and Health and Social Director Mme Bokilo-Dzia.
AUCTION TIME !
For Malaysian fans - but not only - the winning duo from the recent Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham will be auctionning their signed shirt for Solibad ! Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan have won the event in Birmingham and have deciced to give one of their winning shirts away to benefit Solibad's programs. What do you need to do ? Log into our Instagram account and participate in the Auction on Friday, September 16th, from 1PM to 10PM Kuala Lumpur time. The bids are made directly as a new comment and the winning bid after 10PM will be the last bid without any further bid for 5 minutes after it was placed online - to give the chance to everyone or avoid frustration because of an Internet connection problem. This is a piece of history ! https://www.instagram.com/solibad_charity/
When badminton brings back dignity They’re all here, in a circle, under one of the few trees that have leaves large enough to offer some shade from the sun. After over two and a half hours of intense activity in the scorching heat, to the question “Mbola Mazoto ny anohy badminton ve ianao?” (Do you want to play badminton more often?), they all raise their hand, a smile plastered across their face and stars shining in their eyes. The “Bad’agascar” program was born this week from a bit of a crazy dream. On one hand, a family from Montbeliard (eastern France) who decided to leave everything behind to come settle in the middle of this extremely poor neighborhood of Madagascar. On the other hand, Solibad who, like them, believe in the virtues that sport has to offer even beyond just the physical aspect. For four days, around forty children were able to take part in the launch of this new Solibad program that happened in partnership with a great NGO named 2400 smiles (after the scary statistic of the number of children living in the streets of Madagascar, the third poorest country on the planet). Every day from 16 to 18h, sometimes even more at their request, the children from the Ambohidratrimo village have taken up playing badminton, a racket sport they had never heard of. Inevitably, here, football is king, and all the children have already kicked around what is left of the second-hand balls, the leather tanned by the blows of sandals and by the storms. Upon the call of 2400 smiles, the children come running down the slopes of their village made of red brick huts from this ferruginous earth so characteristic of the country, clinks, and bits of makeshift wood. The scene happens every day after school (for the children who get to go to school) and the kids meet on a small field nicknamed for the occasion “the land of freedom” and belonging to a small parish run by Romain’s parents. A pastor and his wife who have given a noble meaning to the word charity by settling in this village 23 years ago and setting up a medical dispensary in addition to a wealth of diverse and varied activities, as well as essential services, to give back dignity to the inhabitants of the village. The nets are up, the first bursts of laughter ring out in the middle of the rice fields which have taken on their most beautiful green. The balloons are inflated to apprehend the first gestures with the racket. The transition to shuttle cocks goes smoothly, though, and it's a joyful acoustic bazaar made of laughter that soon takes place near the village, under the envious eyes of dozens of other children, seated in a circle around the small area dedicated to this brand-new activity. Unanimously, the sport, the game, is adopted. Some are already showing good badminton instincts, under the precious advice of a young Malagasy athlete, Miangola Razafinimanana, 22 years old, who was very recently crowned champion of her country in mixed doubles. And who didn't hesitate for a second to join the program on a voluntary basis, even if she has to juggle her university law courses, her own training sessions, and do almost three hours of additional Taxibé every day... Over there, like in Haiti, in 2010, in Indonesia, in 2014, in Uganda in 2016 or in Rwanda in 2020, the magic happens. Badminton makes sense. At first, within a few minutes, it gives joy. Lightness. The worries seem to fly away – and there are many of them, between constant poverty, and cyclones that hit the capital, including one that wreaked havoc less than a month ago. Among the oldest of the children present, Fiena, 16, saw a whole section of her house collapse, forcing her, her father, and her sister to urgently move in with friends, while a few months prior, she had already been struck by an erratic twist of fate when their mother abandoned the household overnight, without any sign of life since then. One story among many others here, in this village nestled in the blood-red hills where the intolerable, the unacceptable, are part of everyday life. Fiena is there, every day, racquet in hand, always smiling. She lets off steam, hits hard, then uses all her grace when Miangola teaches her the delicacy of backhand serves. She laughs out loud when she misses the shuttle in more and more acrobatic ways. Sport builds back. It allows you to forget, at first, but it’s so much more than that. Sharing with others, having light moments, learning to focus on a task. It’s many things and it’s also the coordination of gestures, of the body, a way of learning to reclaim one's body, especially for children who have been beaten or traumatized by climatic violence. There is also the psychological dimension of regaining confidence and relearning self-esteem through small successes through encouragement and applause which are small steps towards the rebirth of the soul. Romain, the founder of 2400 smiles knows this all too well, a physical education teacher whose specialty was supporting people with disabilities. Sport heals, that’s an empirical fact. It’s a fact for him, as well as for the educators of our Solibad programs around the world, who have seen how this sport in particular has changed the way all these children see themselves, and then the world around them. This is also one of the keys to this new program that is emerging, in which this partnership around badminton will fit, here in Madagascar, under the supervision of the 2400 smiles Association. Reforestation is underway, a little further in the valley, before the buildings of a village come out of the ground to accommodate the street children of Tananarive. In addition to a boarding school, a school, the village of smiles will then host a sports entity, with, already, promises of donations of equipment from certain high-level athletes playing in France - football, fencing, climbing, and of course, badminton. With, for each one, particular reasons to help the reconstruction of children. Everything has been meticulously thought out, by Romain, his wife Séverine and their teams of devoted young Malagasy people, to simply give these abandoned children a taste for life. For badminton, the adventure is only at its very beginning. But the stakeholders – Solibad and the Super GOs of smiles – have already put their “game plan” on paper. By popular demand, the young people of Ambohidratrimo will meet with Miangola twice a week, but perhaps also a few other players from the national team, including Bigjo, who came to lend a hand in one of the sessions. To start learning the basic gestures and become real badminton players. Make badminton a regular activity. On the other side of the valley, as soon as the village of smiles is built, in a few months, another phase of the "Bad'agascar" program should take shape, around several indoor badminton courts, with a real badminton academy set up in partnership with Solibad. With, for some of these street children, a new opening to the world. New hopes. 5 grams of emotion… they say. There were tons of them this week. With the beginning of a long and beautiful human adventure. And thus, a new program by Solibad in partnership with 2400 smiles. "Bad'agascar More info on the program HERE
More info on 2400sourires HERE Photos : Raphaël Sachetat / Solibad
Indonesia Badminton Festival meant a lot to Solibad too...
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.
CLUB OF THE MONTH - ESM Badminton, in Montgeron (91)
For the first time, this month’s volunteer of the month is a not a person but a club. This month we want to honor and thank the ESM Badminton club of Montgeron. Chaired by Thomas V., this club from the outskirts of Paris has carried out several projects with Solibad. Its latest contribution was a very generous donation to Solibad after organizing a "solidarity" club tournament, giving €1 per entry.
With 162 members for the year 2020-2021, the ESM Badminton club, located in the Essonne region, has proven itself to be generous and big-hearted. From its beginnings alongside Solibad in 2015 until today, the club has been particularly invested in our charity and always shared our values.
On its website and social networks, the club clearly displays its support for Solibad giving us a dedicated page on their website . On this page we learn about the club's participation in the "Solibad Days", the purchase of a Solibad banner for more visibility and the donation of 1€ of each members’ registration.
More recently, it was a solidarity tournament organized by the club that enabled them to donate a hundred euros, the second donation in a month. More and more clubs show support to Solibad and we want to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication.
You want to help Solibad but don't know where to start?
Our "6 steps to support Solibad" leaflet for clubs and players is coming soon! And who knows, maybe your club will be our next Club of the month !
Thanks again to the ESM Badminton club for its great values, hard work and support, thanks to to all those who contribute in one way or another to the development of Solibad.
New ambassadors soon to be revealed!
As a new school year is underway, Solibad saw an opportunity to get back in touch with several of its ambassadors. And to our delight, the list of ambassadors keeps getting longer. However, good things come to those who wait, therefore you have to wait a little bit longer for the grand announcement of our ambassadors. An article will be dedicated to this in a future newsletter. Another turning point is the length of the commitment of our players towards Solibad, a symbolic commitment of 3 years. These 3 years are echoing to the 3 years left before the Paris 2024 Olympic games. A more regular commitment from our partner players will undoubtedly do wonders for Solibad’s communication plan. We can't wait to tell you more!
Indonesia : Encouraging results for 2021
Out of sight but not out of mind, the programs in Indonesia are among Solibad's most advanced projects. With 269 children and teenagers benefiting last month. We are taking advantage of these six months since the beginning of the year to draw up a first assessment of 2021. The situation is generally on the right track, but the health crisis has been gradually casting a shadow over the last few weeks.Among the activities developed locally, badminton, scholarships and martial arts are at the top of the list. Traditional dances have also been well received. The libraries are almost at a standstill. On the badminton side, there is plenty of news. Children are happy to go to training sessions. For those whose schools have not reopened since March 2020, this is an essential new rhythm. Fortunately, some courses are held online. All the teams have received new uniforms, with the Solibad and Decathlon logos. Let's take a look at the professional Ultimate team now. The national badminton federation (PBSI) has been badly affected by the pandemic, and rankings have lost their value. The remaining tournaments are now private. On a positive note, the Ultimate team has been able to continue "without missing a day of training until April 2021 - the beginning of Ramadan", says Dominique, the person in charge. Two new players, Anissa and Lutfi, were invited to join the team. And since February 2021, Mrs. Sarwendah, world champion in 1990, has been coaching the Ultimate team! May 2021 marked a turning point and new perspectives await several players of the Ultimate team. Starting with Novia and Dimas, the "big two", both expected to come to Canada as coaches in a well-known club in Toronto. Already vaccinated, they should leave very soon and with many dreams in mind. For the others, the Ultimate team programme has been put on hold for a short period of time. Because of the hovering of family celebrations and the end of exams season mixed with a lack of return on investment. Another issue in Indonesia for the Lakbok team whose actives have been significantly reduced due to political matters in which Solibad cannot intervene.The library and badminton team in Lakbok could be closed if no deal is made by September 2021. We remain motivated and involved despite of these small issues with the ambition of offering new perspectives and chances to many disadvantaged young people. Such as Novia and Dimas who'll soon be in Canada or r Ibnu and Nata at Decathlon Indonesia as mentioned last month. online classes from Finland.
France Parabad championships
At the beginning of July, the French Parabadminton 2021 Championships were held in Carquefou, near Nantes. This was a special edition because of the recent return of some players to the courts. There was no doubt that the desire to resume competitions was there! Solibad was well represented. With its booth on site, but first and foremost thanks to its its 10 ambassador and players who collected a total of 18 medals. Particularly awaited in view of her very good results on the international scene, our champion Faustine Noël proved herself by taking the gold medal in singles, in ladies' doubles with Lenaïg Morin and in mixed doubles with Guillaume Gailly. David Toupé followed the same flawless record in the WH1 (wheelchair) category. In addition to the men's singles, David is involved in the men's doubles with Pascal Barillon and in the mixed doubles with Emmanuelle Ott. The winning team gaines three medals with the most beautiful colors. We can also talk about our ambassador and former intern at Solibad Ceylian Kirchhoffer, who can be proud of his bronze medal obtained in men's doubles alongside Thomas Numitor. These performances are a sight for a sore eyes, weeks before the Tokyo Paralympic Games which will take place after the Olympic Games, several Frenchman are expected to take part in such as Lucas Mazur who's the public's favorite or David Toupé, Faustine Noël, Lénaïg Morin and Thomas Jakobs. Until then, we can only wish them good luck in their preparation!
Volunteer of the month - Malou Brun
We are back for our "volunteer of the month" interview. Who knows, maybe the "club of the month" will be honoured in the next edition? For the time being, it is Malou Brun, a young professional sports photographer, that we have chosen to present to you. Involved with Solibad for 5 years now, Malou regularly works during tournaments. Perhaps you have already met her near the courts? Q: Hello Malou, thank you for accepting the invitation. You have been chosen by Solibad as volunteer of the month, for your numerous actions to support us. Could you introduce yourself in a few sentences for those who don't know you yet? M : Thank you for choosing me! It really means a lot to me 😊I am Malou, I am 29 years old and I live in Nantes. In life, I am a sports photographer and a BAFA trainer. I've been playing badminton for about ten years, adapting it a bit to my disability, but I play with able-bodied people. Q : How did you hear about Solibad? M : I dreamed of working as a photographer for the FFBaD, so I was redirected to BadmintonPhoto. I met its President, Raphaël Sachetat, and one thing led to another and he told me about his association, Solibad. The first booths in my region soon followed, and a real meeting with Raphaël during the European Championships in Vendée in 2016, in the company of Hongyan Pi, whom I already knew. Q: Can you tell us a little more about your experience as a volunteer (at Solibad and elsewhere) ? M : I run booths at a few tournaments each year, often the same ones, because it lets players know that each year I will be present at specific tournaments. Before, I used to do a lot more tournaments ( more than ten a year) because nobody knew about Solibad in Loire-Atlantique. I also like to give my opinion on some products and I sometimes advise other ones . I like the atmosphere that reigns during tournaments, meeting players etc... Q: Among the projects you developed and worked on with Solibad, which one is closest to your heart and why? M : I really enjoyed going to the first French Badminton Championships in adapted sports in 2016, for Solibad. A very nice discovery. I think it's a pity that these championships were notarially advertised in the following years. Q: How can we help you relay information, give you visibility ...? M : That's a good question. Maybe allow Solibad volunteers to meet once or twice a year, on the IFB for example. Do some visual communication on these events, take advantage of them to show the goodies, communicate more with the clubs and create a more privileged link between clubs, Solibad volunteers and Solibad. These are just suggestions of course. Q: What is your biggest dream / your ambitions for the years to come? M : To improve my photography skills. To work more on French Championships as a photographer and also work for other sports federations. And with Solibad? I would like to keep working with them,we’ll see what life has in store for me on that front, who knows! 😉 Q: What advice would you give to someone who is hesitating about joining Solibad ? M : Don't hesitate anymore! It's a great experience, a great family. Lightning round - What are you most proud of? To have reach my goal of working for BadmintonPhoto and I hope to continue 😊 - Your best memory? I don't have one. I have several. Meeting up with my Solibad friends every year at the IFBs and being at the first French adapted sports championships for Solibad.
- When did you show the most courage? Very good question. I honestly don't know. I take all things as they come because if they happen, it's because they have to, so let's go for it! Whether it's illness, or photographic experiences, or the rest of life. - The moment that moved you the most with Solibad? / that impacted you the most? My first real meeting with the Solibad family, I didn't know them, but I was already 1000% integrated! I can't wait to live other moments with my friends 😊 - The best advice you've been given ? I've never been given too much I think... I get a lot of admiration from people around me from far and near, but advice never really. Maybe because I don't really need it, because my illness has taught me to fight first by myself according to my needs, my desires and to give myself priorities that are obvious to me. But I would like to thank my teachers in photography school who followed me during these 4 years and who knew how to give me the right basis to reach my dream of being a sports photographer. Afterwards, I think that it is the talent (without bragging and according to the feedback) and the desire that allowed me to live it today.