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Badminton Australia's Shuttle Smash Program Promotes Youth Development in the Northern Territory

National Indigenous Sports Foundation Media Release

For release: 11 August 2023

Photo courtesy: Natasha Bennett, Wanta Aboriginal Corporation

The National Indigenous Sports Foundation (NISF), in partnership with the Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS), supports Badminton Australia Shuttle Smash program, recently implemented in Ntaria, Northern Territory. This groundbreaking initiative, spearheaded by Natasha Bennett, previous Sports Director at Wanta Aboriginal Corporation, is set to revolutionize youth engagement and physical literacy through the exciting world of badminton.

Shuttle Smash, an innovative badminton program tailored for children aged 5 to 12, champions the belief that effective sports programming can be accessible to all, regardless of location or circumstance. This vision has been realized in the tight-knit community of Ntaria, situated 125km west of Alice Springs, where the locals have eagerly embraced the opportunity to learn and play badminton. Designed to build physical literacy through fun and interactive sessions, the program not only nurtures foundational athletic skills but also cultivates numeracy, literacy, communication, and social abilities, creating a holistic developmental experience.

Photo courtesy: Natasha Bennett, Wanta Aboriginal Corporation

Natasha Bennett, the director behind the program's implementation in Ntaria, NT, conducted dynamic warm-up games and tailored skills sessions for children aged 6 to 9, within the primary school age group throughout Term 2. Overcoming initial uncertainties, Bennett was heartened by the enthusiastic response from the young participants.

"The kids loved it," Bennett remarked, "constantly asking when the next sessions would be".

Natasha is confident that this program has the potential to captivate the youth within other communities as well.

Photo courtesy: Natasha Bennett, Wanta Aboriginal Corporation

As Badminton Australia's Shuttle Smash program unfolds, it aims to empower children by fostering physical literacy and building a solid foundation for a lifelong love of sports. The initiative's design not only ensures that children learn badminton skills, but also encourages their active participation through engaging games. Each participant receives a racquet and shuttle, enabling them to practice and play by anyone, anywhere, and at any time. By nurturing essential life skills and instilling confidence, Shuttle Smash equips children to not only excel in badminton but also thrive in a variety of sports.

The Confederation of Australian Sport acknowledges the pivotal significance of grassroots initiatives in fostering sports engagement among youth and nurturing their skill sets. The Shuttle Smash program stands as a notable exemplar of leveraging sports as a conduit for societal advancement and communal involvement. Evidenced by its impactful implementation in remote locales, the program's efficacy is unquestionable, and CAS anticipates its sustained triumph in the times ahead.

Photo courtesy: Natasha Bennett, Wanta Aboriginal Corporation

The Shuttle Smash program stands as a testament to the potential of sports to transcend barriers and inspire positive change within communities. NISF remains committed to supporting programs that harness the power of sports to engage, educate, and empower young people.

For more information on Badminton Australia's Shuttle Smash program: click here.

For more information on Wanta Aboriginal Corporation: click here.

Courtesy Natasha Bennett, Wanta Aboriginal Corporation

About National Indigenous Sports Foundation

The National Indigenous Sports Foundation (NISF) has been formed to improve opportunities and recognition for indigenous people in and through the sport sector. NISF is dedicated to promoting sports and physical activity within indigenous communities across Australia. Committed to empowering indigenous peoples and fostering a sense of unity through sports, NISF provides accessible opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and community engagement.

About Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS)

The Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) was established in 1976 to advance the interests of the Australian sports community and to give the industry a united voice in discussions and negotiations with governments and key stakeholders. The Confederation of Australian Sport's overriding aim is to contribute to the development of a society in which the social, economic and health benefits of widespread participation in sport and recreation is recognised and valued by all.

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