Wednesday, 22 May 2024

BWF News: A Story of Resourcefulness and Inclusion

Kasalina Tagici, a full-time teacher and volunteer coach, faced a challenge on Fiji’s second island of Vanua Levu. She needed a place for her Special Olympics players to sharpen their skills. With limited indoor facilities, she had to think outside the box.

In Berlin for the Special Olympics World Games, Tagici found a unique solution. She brought her players to the vast Messe exhibition centre, housing the badminton competition. It was a stark contrast to their usual grass training grounds back home.

The Fijian team found themselves in Hall 1.2, a spacious venue with room for 11 courts and more. It was a sight to behold, with spectators filling the tribunes. For Tagici, it was a momentous experience, but finding a suitable training space seemed impossible.

Just when hope was fading, they stumbled upon the fire station. It had a garage with a hard floor, the perfect spot for a makeshift court. The fire truck would be moved outside to accommodate their training sessions. With cones marking the court boundaries and a string serving as a net, they played badminton. The firemen even joined in, assisting with their exercises.

Tagici expresses gratitude for the support received from the National Fire Authority on Vanua Levu and the Badminton World Federation (BWF). She credits BWF’s Shuttle Time program for making badminton more accessible in Fiji, both indoors and outdoors with AirBadminton.

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For Tagici, it was an honor to compete on a proper court and experience such a momentous tournament. Looking ahead, she hopes that badminton can continue to shine at the Special Olympics, even in a country where rugby dominates the sports scene.

While rugby holds sway, Tagici believes there will always be children interested in exploring different sports. AirBadminton offers inclusivity to individuals with learning or physical disabilities. Inclusion in sports is gaining recognition in Fiji, and Tagici is confident that they will continue to expand inclusive programs in badminton.


Q: How did Kasalina Tagici find a solution for training her Special Olympics players on Vanua Levu?
A: Tagici came up with the idea of using a garage at the fire station on the island, which had a hard floor suitable for setting up a badminton court.

Q: How did the fire station support Tagici and her players?
A: The fire station staff would move the fire truck outside to create space for their training sessions, and they even assisted with the players’ exercises.

Q: How has the BWF helped in popularizing badminton in Fiji?
A: The BWF’s Shuttle Time program has provided resources and training for Tagici and has made badminton more accessible to children in Fiji, both indoors and outdoors with AirBadminton.

Q: Can badminton compete with rugby in terms of popularity in Fiji?
A: While rugby dominates the sports scene in Fiji, there will always be children interested in trying out different sports. AirBadminton offers inclusivity, making it suitable for individuals with learning or physical disabilities.

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In the heartwarming story of Kasalina Tagici and her Special Olympics players, we witness resourcefulness and inclusivity in action. Tagici, faced with limited training facilities on Vanua Levu, found a creative solution by utilizing a garage at the fire station. She set up a badminton court using cones and string, and even the firemen joined in the training.

The Badminton World Federation’s Shuttle Time program has played a crucial role in popularizing badminton in Fiji, making it accessible to children both indoors and outdoors with AirBadminton. Tagici’s experience in Berlin at the Special Olympics World Games has been a testament to the power of inclusion in sports.

Looking ahead, Tagici believes that badminton can continue to grow in popularity, even in a rugby-dominated country like Fiji. With its inclusive nature, AirBadminton provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in the sport. Fiji is taking steps towards greater inclusion, and Tagici is optimistic about expanding inclusive programs in badminton.

To learn more about the inspiring journey of Kasalina Tagici and the impact of badminton in Fiji, visit Join us in celebrating the power of sport and inclusion.