Thursday, 20 Jun 2024

Badminton: Transforming Lives Through Sport

Badminton

Sport has the power to change lives, especially in the case of children. It contributes to their physical, psychological, intellectual, and emotional development. One inspiring story of how sport can make a difference comes from Angie Ortiz, a 23-year-old Colombian studying to become a great badminton coach. Despite growing up in a challenging social environment, Angie found hope and guidance through the sport of badminton.

Angie’s introduction to badminton was unique. She was part of the ‘San Antonio’ foundation, which focuses on helping vulnerable populations in Bogotá. Living in an area plagued by drug trafficking, addiction, domestic violence, and street violence, Angie discovered badminton in 2011 through the Peace & Sport program. This international organization aims to transform open spaces into sports fields, rebuild confidence in war orphans, integrate refugees, provide access to education for the underprivileged, and foster a sense of citizenship in disadvantaged urban areas.

“The foundation came into my life at a crucial moment, guiding me towards something better. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the guidance to distinguish between right and wrong,” shares Angie.

The San Antonio Foundation offers children the opportunity to explore various aspects of life, socialize with peers, and escape the violence and negativity surrounding them. By focusing on academics and sports, the foundation provides a support system for children to move forward.

Peace & Sport introduced badminton at the foundation, and it instantly became a popular recreational sport. Angie reminisces, “Everyone started to develop a preference for badminton over soccer. The sport was something new and exciting. I tried it out, playfully hitting the shuttlecock with a racket.”

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Though Angie later explored other popular sports, badminton had a special place in her heart. “After studying Sports Training, I rediscovered badminton. Coach Dagoberto Corredor, who was also associated with the San Antonio Foundation, introduced us to the sport. That’s when I reconnected with badminton and became involved once again.”

Experiences and lessons learned stay with us, shaping us into who we become. Angie now has the opportunity to share her journey with children facing similar challenges. Today, she serves as a badminton instructor at institutions like the San Antonio Foundation, empowering children and helping them improve their quality of life.

“Being part of the Peace & Sport project left a profound impact on my life. Now, I have the responsibility of being a badminton instructor for school children. I strive to expand their possibilities, encouraging them to seek alternative paths, away from drugs and domestic violence. My aim is to help them focus on different aspects of life to progress and flourish.”

Badminton offers more than just physical health benefits. It opens doors to professional opportunities, improves overall quality of life, and enables individuals to make a positive impact on others.

Angie explains, “Badminton has significantly improved my economic, family, and academic situation. I currently work with the District Institute of Recreation and Sports, through the Complementary School Time project. We focus on sports activities for vulnerable populations and collaborate with district schools in Bogotá. Through our initiative, we expose children to various sports, diverting them from addiction, violence, and other harmful influences.”

Angie’s dedication to badminton spans five years, during which she has shared her experiences and strived for continual improvement. “My goal is to continue my academic progress and help popularize the sport of badminton in Colombia. We have immense potential to become a power player in South America.”

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While badminton is gaining popularity across the continent, there is still work to be done. Many people in Colombia are unaware of the sport or hold the misconception that it is exclusively for men. But Angie’s coaching is breaking barriers.

“Girls are drawn to badminton because of its elegance. I teach them the technique using dance steps, which adds fluidity to their movements. We aim to instill in them the belief that they can do anything boys can, achieving gender balance in the sport.”

Sport serves as a valuable tool for progress, personal growth, and improved quality of life. Angie has personally experienced this transformation and understands the importance of taking initiative to create positive change.

“As young individuals, we all aspire to a better life. We must be the catalyst for change. If we want to improve any aspect of our lives, we have to take action. For me, badminton has been a tremendous source of support and personal growth. If you’re passionate about what you do, improvement is inevitable. The key is finding that inner passion. Passion is everything.”

FAQs

  1. How did Angie discover badminton?
    Angie was introduced to badminton through the Peace & Sport program while being part of the San Antonio foundation, which focuses on helping vulnerable populations.

  2. What role does Angie play in badminton now?
    Angie currently serves as a badminton instructor, sharing her experiences and helping children improve their lives through the sport.

  3. How is badminton creating opportunities for Angie?
    Badminton has improved Angie’s economic, family, and academic situation. She now works with the District Institute of Recreation and Sports, impacting the lives of vulnerable populations through sports.

  4. What is Angie’s vision for badminton in Colombia?
    Angie aspires to popularize the sport of badminton in Colombia and make it a strong force in South America.

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Conclusion

Angie’s journey illustrates the transformative power of badminton. Through her own experiences, she has become an inspiration to countless children facing challenging circumstances. Badminton goes beyond physical health benefits; it instills discipline, resilience, and a sense of purpose. As Angie continues to make a difference through her coaching, she believes that anyone can achieve their goals with passion, determination, and the support of a sport like badminton. Join Angie and discover the life-changing potential of this elegant and dynamic sport.

To learn more about badminton and its impact, visit Carnegiecentre.