Stroke and smash in tandem

In sync: The badminton fans performing a flashmob as part of the celebration at the Michael’s Badminton Academy in Bandar Puteri, Puchong.

THE Michael’s Badminton Academy (MBA) trainees held a flashmob to usher in the second Solibad Day recently.

The academy’s director Michael Lee said the recent gathering was held at the 32-court complex in Bandar Puteri, Puchong.

“Although we were not the official venue for the celebration, we decided to come up with the flashmob to create awareness about badminton and attract more participants to have fun on court. Since we were part of the inaugural event at Bukit Jalil last year, we are continuing to support the initiative,” he added.

Former national coach Rexy Mainaky and men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat turned up to be part of the first flashmob last year.

For the recent event, former Selangor coach Budi Rijanto led the academy’s coaching department comprising four other Indonesian coaches — Tony Galeh, Andrea Wijaya, Erik Wijaya and Edvin Dwi Prijono — to guide the participants in executing the five standard choreographed steps applied worldwide for the occasion.

“Some of them were familiar with the steps because they got a head start practising the routine based on the visuals available on the Internet. Our coaches also help them to get it right. It was a simple exercise combining forward and side movements related to badminton. It did not take long before they felt comfortable in finding their momentum to carry it out together as a group,” said Michael.

Currently, they have almost 400 trainees going through the paces under the academy’s training programme.

Even they did not reach the initial target of attracting 500 participants in the group, they settled for a modest turnout of 130 people showing up for the flashmob.

Besides another community club based in Puchong joining the fray, the children from House of Joy and Rumah Kebajikan At-Taqwa were also part of the action.

“It was great to see a multi-racial composition having a great time together. The unity spirit was definitely alive. After a single rehearsal run, they did well and it was almost perfect when they went on to link all the five steps,” said Michael.

The annual Solibad Day is a global charity initiative under the Solibad Foundation Badminton Without Borders banner aiming to adopt badminton as a tool in their bid to assist underprivileged children around the world.

This year, former national shuttler Wong Choong Hann also hosted the event at the Sunsuria-Pioneer Badminton Centre in Kota Damansara.

It was also an attempt to register the celebration as a significant event with people from over 110 cities throwing their support behind the initiative at their respective centres around the globe.

Besides gaining support from notable names in the shuttling scene. including Danish seasoned campaigner Peter Gade-Christensen, Pi Hongyan of France and Nathan Robertson from England, major cities such as London, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Singapore picked iconic locations in carrying out the flashmob.

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