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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.
Update about the call for donations for India
In May Solibad launched an emergency fundraising campaign to help India overcome the health crisis linked to covid. One month later thanks to you we were able to send 1,300€ to our Indian program. Today, with transparency in mind we want to share with you the initiatives that will be taken with your donations. The OFI (objectif France Inde) which is the organization which makes the link between Solibad and India told us that the funds collected will fund two teacher’s salaries for 3 months, paying these teachers ensure the education of more than 40 pupils who are children of migrant workers of Bangalore and who live in precarious situation. Vonisha is the organization that provides education to children, this organization is of tremendous help and support. As the country is still in Lockdown and schools are closed Vonisha has rented premises to keep welcoming students and teachers in order to fight social and educational inequalities. Since mid-June, Vonisha has rented 9 premises at its own expense, which allows it to lower the economic barrier and make education a public good. The Solibad team would like to thank all donors because thanks to you these children can access education without social or economic prejudice.
Solibad gives 1,000€ to the ROWAN program
In may’s newsletter we were bringing good news about ROWAN our Ugandan programs, the program had just inaugurated a new learning center in order to bridge the educational gap and help children and their families. However the covid-19 situation is worsening by the minute in developing countries and Uganda is sadly no exception. A new covid-19 wave hit the country, children where sent home from school and families are quarantined which means they have to provide food to all the members of the family. On top of the sanitary crisis there is a food crisis as crops are not doing well an the prices of essential products are skyrocketing which means that getting food is becoming a privilege that a lot of our ROWAN families can’t afford. The ROWAN program launched a fundraiser in order to help provide essential dry food ( beans, rice, salt, flour) to the families in need. The program already raised $5,843, Solibad donated 1,000€ but we need your help to reach the goal which is set at $10,000. Every dollar counts, you can donate to ROWAN here. Don’t hesitate to spread the word and share the fundraiser.
Volunteer of the month - Nathalie AHUES
Our volunteer of the month, Nathalie AHUES, has been volunteering around the world since 2011 and she has been volunteering for Solibad since 2019 in Thailand. Badminton player, plantar reflexology masseuse and volunteer in several charities including Solibad, she is part of the numerous people who allow us to carry out our actions. We asked her about her motivations and her experience. Solibad: Hello Nathalie, thanks for accepting the invitation. Solibad chose you as the volunteer of the month of June. Could you introduce yourself in a few words for those who don't know you yet? Nathalie: Hello, my name is Nathalie, I'm 34 years old and like many people, I discovered badminton at school. I rediscovered it in 2016, thanks to a friend who took me for a try-out and I immediately wanted to pursue it (despite a small accident during the session)! Outside of bad, I work at the airport and I’m passionate about travels, world cuisines and I have a keen interest in wellness, which led me to train in Thai foot reflexology in Thailand. S: How did you hear about Solibad? N: Ooh...I don’t exactly remember when I discovered Solibad, maybe in 2018, during one of my first tournaments. There was a Solibad booth and since humanitarianism is also part of my identity, I noticed the charity right away! S: Can you tell us a little more about your experience as a volunteer (at Solibad and elsewhere) ? N: I started volunteering in 2011, I went to South Africa where I took care of children in a slum. Before that, I had done two internships in an aviation NGO, called Aviation Sans Frontières, and I knew that I wanted to follow the humanitarian path. At Aviation Sans Frontières, I was both an employee and a volunteer, which was a great experience! I am also a translator for an association in charge of honoring the memory of the soldiers buried in the American Military Cemeteries in France. Finally, every year since 2017, I try to participate in the No Finish Line ( a race for charity) on behalf of the Chain of Hope. My volunteering for Solibad began in 2019, when I started offering Thai plantar reflexology sessions for the benefit of associations. I had done a trial where the benefits where given to the Chain of Hope in 2018, I was pleased with the result so I kept doing it, Solibad naturally became the main recipient of the collected donations. S: Among the projects you developed and worked on with Solibad, which one is closest to your heart and why? N: I haven't been able to develop many projects yet, but the one that is closest to my heart is developing the "Masseurs du Cœur ». I am, as far as I know, the only person offering Thai plantar reflexology sessions, for the benefit of Solibad on top of that. I am convinced that a network would bring more funds to Solibad because I can't work on all of the tournaments. Apart from the humanitarian side, as a badminton player, I know how important well-being is in sport and I am always happy to bring a little moment of relaxation to the players, whether they play the next day or not. In addition, my training also allows me to deal with cramps, which has come in handy once or twice! S: How can we help you relay information, give you visibility ...? N: Maybe make small flyers presenting the different programs supported by Solibad, send me information that I can share on social medias. You can also, give me posters that I can stick up in the room where I do my sessions, to personalize the place but also to present my work. S: What is your biggest dream / your ambitions for the years to come? N: Dreams...I have a lot of them! With Solibad, I would love to go see the program in Indonesia (a country I would like to visit and and the home of some of the greatest bad players in the world). Regarding bad, I would like to meet Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue, whom I have cheered on a lot during the tournaments in Thailand and England (that's my fan side, lol),I also want to evolve both mentally and technically. On a personal level, my only ambition is to be happy, fulfilled and comfortable in my own skin. S: What advice would you give to someone who is hesitating about joining Solibad ? N: If you want to feel useful while playing your favorite sport, don't hesitate to join Solibad, you have welcome ! And if you don't play badminton, you will discover an exceptional world of solidarity in the sports world. So don't hesitate to join! Lightning round - What are you most proud of? Regarding badminton, I’m most proud of winning the small final in the mixed category at the Massane tournament (Argelès). Regarding Solibad, my proudest moment is when I collected 250 euros during the French Veterans Championship in Challans in 2019: a record! - What's your best memory ? My first mixed tournament in Villeparisis in 2018 (less than a year of bad up my sleeve ): very nice tournament and especially, very good partner (special shoutout to Alexandre Amara )! - When was the time when you showed the most courage? I think the moment when I showed the most courage was when I played a singles tournament again after a very bad experience. I was defeated once again but I overcame my disdain for singles! - The moment that moved you the most with Solibad? / that impacted you the most? So far, there’s not a moment that really moved me at Solibad ( but I know it’ll happen). However meeting with Raphael Sachetat after more than a year of talking via Facebook was a memorable day, a very good meeting. - What's the best advice you've been given? Your happiness shouldn’t depend on others and live your life without paying attention to what people think. A huge thanks to Nathalie for this very interesting interview, see you soon back on the courts!
Crisis in India - Solibad calls for donations
For several weeks now, the situation in India has been absolutely catastrophic, with unbearable scenes of thousands of people affected by the virus who cannot be treated due to the lack of space and oxygen. This situation affects all segments of the population, families and children, directly. At Solibad, we rarely ask for emergency aid because our programs are based on long-term local partnerships. However, the current situation forces us to solicit our friends and donors’ help in order to send funds and save lives. Many children find themselves without their parents, who are either sick or dead from Covid. We have to organize their repatriation in local structures, provide meal baskets and answer to essential needs. Many children are abandoned. Other consequences of the dramatic local situation, especially in the slums where our partner charity OFI (Objectif France Inde) acts : many youngsters do not have access to education, which, has dramatic consequences in these areas. Young girls end up pregnant, or forced into marriage because their parents no longer can afford to send them to school. Others, no longer in school, head for delinquency or homelessness and we know where this leads… The situation is deteriorating day by day, both in big cities and their townships, but also in villages and countrysides - our partners’ family members are directly affected - a young 35 year old volunteer, part of those front-liners who distribute meals and help the beneficiaries of the programs contracted the virus and died recently. We are therefore, calling for emergency aid to quickly send funds on site and help those children and their families, especially in the province of Tamil Nadu and around Bangalore, areas where OFI works. Each euro counts - with 15 € you provide a whole family with basic needs for 10 days. With 30 € you provide 30 days worth of meals to a child (that is 1€ per day for three meals!) With 50 €, you ensure several days of essential food products for unattended children whose parents are sick or victims of the virus. A 150 € donation represents a teacher’s monthly salary, either as soon as schools reopen, or as of now with teachers going to villages and teaching outdoors, especially in slums, in order to keep the link with young students for whom school is a real social lifeline. We are counting on you, many thanks Link for donations here.
Solibad is growing...
Our charity has been developing for over eleven years now, with the help of volunteers only. This results from a decision we made at the very beginning of this beautiful human adventure, mostly to avoid spending money on anything other than actions in the field. This paid off. Indeed, until today, we allocated nearly every resources of the charity to our young recipients in the programs : the only administrative fees being insurances and bank account fees, which are inherent to the good functioning of any institution. We succeeded in making the slogan « 100% of donations sent in the field » a reality. Besides, you will see in a few days that our 2020 financial statement clearly shows that we sent all the funds collected (and even more) to our programs. In the world of charities and nonprofits, this is outstanding. We must thank all those who made this possible, with their time and meticulous work, often behind the scenes, in the field or on their computers. Today, we are entering a second phase in Solibad’s growth. Last fall we welcomed Corentin and Ceylian for seven months through the amazing platform that is « Service civique », they were our first recruits with this status. As their seven month contract came to an end, Neemati and Caroline, who we welcomed a few days ago, will pick up where things were left off. They will help improve our digital skills and grow our reach. All of this was made possible through a platform that allows Solibad to spend little to no money thanks to Government funding. However, we also wanted a change of paradigm, a change of the way we work. We did so by hiring Corentin, on a one-year fixed-term contract which will hopefully be renewed. In early 2021, the board voted for a budget to welcome Corentin for two main reasons : first because we are sorely lacking human resources to manage the multiple operations of our charity and the volunteers who are very much in demand in this pandemic have now less time to effectively manage our different programs. But also because, we felt it was our role to help a young adult in a time when entering the labour market is extremely complicated. In line with our values, this is a "little push" that we are willing to give to someone who has been so devoted to Solibad and someone who we want to see thrive at a job we had planned to create one day anyway. This one-year fixed-term contract is 65% subsidized by the state, in order to minimize financial risk and to keep in mind to send most of our resources in the field. This decision is also an investment for the future, with the help of other volunteers - such as Virginie, who is also joining the team - Corentin should be able to help Solibad find more resources and more means in order to develop our actions and programs, allowing us to offer better help. We are delighted to welcome our first employee to Solibad in the person of Corentin, and wish him a warm welcome (back), as well as Neemati and Caroline, whom you will have the opportunity to meet, in real life or virtually via their articles and posts. Raphael and the entire Solibad team,
Ashwini Ponnappa joins again "1% for Solibad" this year
Once again, in 2021, top star from India Ashwini Ponnappa has vowed to donate 1% of all her earnings (yearly prize money) on the Tour to Solibad's programs. As one of our long time Ambassadors, Ashwini has always been very much involved and always happy to help. Here is her video to announce her participation in the campaign. You can join Ashwini too ! Whether you are a professional badminton player who wishes to donate 1% of your prize money, or any one, willing to donate 1% of your yearly salary, feel free to join the campaign and fill this short form. Thank you !