Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Badminton seeking own home

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A HOME for badminton and a sound financial footing.Those are the major goals the newly elected president of the Barbados Badminton Association (BBA), Kevin Wood, wants to achieve as the hallmark of his tenure.Wood, who still competes for Barbados, said the lack of a dedicated home for the indoor sport was impacting on its ability to attract new players and execute development programmes.“We have good coaches and we have good players, but we don’t have enough money to send them to competitions and we don’t have a facility where we can train,” he explained.Building fundThe BBA will therefore be hosting a series of fund-raisers, with 40 per cent of the funds acquired going into the building fund and the rest into an account for the association’s day-to-day operations.The minimum requirements are three courts, a changing area, a roof at least 30 feet high, parking and four walls. Badminton must be played in completely still conditions, without the winds affecting the movement of the shuttlecock.“Currently we have three roll-out courts in storage at the [Wildey] Gymnasium. “If we were able to get a facility, we wouldn’t have to bring in those courts because we already have them. They are a bit old, but they are still useable.“We need a facility. That is our biggest problem.”There is a draft structure already drawn up and the association is exploring costs and, of course, the land. Wood is hoping that when the project gets under way, corporate Barbados would get involved by sponsoring different parts of the structure in exchange for advertising.“Now that Government has made it easier to get the reverse tax credit, I think we really need to act on that.Facilities Now people know [that] it is a bit easier; [that] when you sponsor somebody you can get back the tax return much easier, I think that would help also,” the president said.“We basically have one multi-purpose facility in Barbados, yet we see more pavilions going up. Why not turn those pavilions into more multi-purpose facilities, so you have multi-purpose facilities within your area?” he queried.Wood pointed out that that was the direction taken in Trinidad and Tobago, and said he believed it would help the development of indoor sports like badminton, basketball, and volleyball here in Barbados.School hallsMost badminton tournaments are held at the Gymnasium, but that is not always available, and the association was fortunate to get some of the Shuttlers Badminton Club’s time at the Garrison School for the junior programme.The president is also exploring the option of utilising school halls across the island.“If we can’t bring them to us, we have to go to them and if we can find schools that have a good hall, a good roof, we can set up and have a good programme. “I think that would help for the time being, because we can’t get them [to] us in the area that we want them.”DevelopmentWood lauded the work of National Sports Council (NSC) coaches Carolyn Vaughn and Ryan Toppin, but said the development programme was even more important because the one held by the NSC had been cut because of costs.He said the association would also like to secure the services of an overseas coach, but it would be pointless if there was nowhere for that person to work.Wood also wants full tax-free concessions for sporting organisations on equipment because it was difficult to source high-quality gear for elite athletes here, but when it was imported, it was subject to heavy taxes.

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