Southern Tasmanian Badminton Association -- Sport bridging cultural divides

Uploaded by ausport on 08.10.2012

Badminton is like a language. You know, we talk languages but this bridges languages,
it bridges cultural divides.
This sport has given me an opportunity to know many friends and also many other cultures
The idea is to allow people to pursue their interests and the things that kind of make
them tick as a human being.
It makes me more confident to talk to other people - to locals
I just love training people, coaching people. The CALD group brings a whole new perspective.
They're selfless people. They give and they give and I think we can learn a lot from their
culture and I think they give us so much more than what we give them.
You open up yourself to different things. It makes you more worldly
They may have come here for a particular reason around study but there are a whole lot of
aspirations they have and experiences that they want to have while they are here so we
help them to network into the community to help find those
When I first came to Australia I only started in the university gym.
It wasn't really enough. One day we were driving past, we saw the
badminton centre. We thought it was going to be a multi-purpose hall
but when we came here we saw 12 courts dedicated to badminton the
sport itself and we got really interested. So I got a lot of my
friends to come along and soon the badminton club also came here
Badminton being a universal sport, in Tasmania in particular,
it has been very very centred around Caucasians. Very few Asians
were playing. It was thought that there was an ideal opportunity,
with many international students at the university, that there
was an untapped market, so we encouraged them to come in. Its
expanded our competition, given it more depth. Its just been a
much better experience for everybody.
I improved my English because I have met a lot of locals. Yeh that
helped me a lot with badminton
It's also been good because people have been in administrative
roles, so they have learnt skills in terms of organisation,
communication and planning. Some of those skills that they have
learnt in our program they have been able to translate into
other aspects of their life.
Individuals who are settling in Australia who are better
networked, are safer, we know that. We know that they feel
safer and that they actually are safer to any of the issues
that they might come across, be it whether its safety in the
street or people taking advantage of them in employment
Many people think that when they play singles they are only
alone but it's always the team effort that makes that person
feel well. So it's always the inspiring, the communication
and the feedback between the team that is very important
When they are playing and improving they are getting better
technically. They are getting better mentally and they think
to themselves if I can do far better than I've ever done on
the badminton court why can't I do it in other aspects of
my life.
In Australia they normally put you into a team and then you
play as a team. That's what was very different. When I first
came here I didn't really understand how to actually play
in a team.
Obviously the biggest challenge is communication. Quite often
you get people whose English is limited so it's a matter of
being able to get the message across about what I'm trying
to tell them.
People have different prayer times so we have to try and
accommodate hitting times that will suit them. They have
difficulties in terms of transport.
I think it's a little bit expensive. Some of the new
students who have come to the hostel where I'm staying,
are very interested after last night's CALD Come and Try
event but, when they heard about the price, they got quite
a shock
To start with, when we looked at the program, we thought
well what are the challenges that we need to overcome.
So what we did, we were very fortunate to engage Ernest
and he has done a huge amount of work in terms of engaging
communities. Ernest has been out talking to the communities,
trying to understand what their needs are, help them achieve
what they need to do in terms of playing our sport. So he
has been out engaging them and it takes about a three or
four month turnaround. Its developing a sense of trust.
For me it's about getting on the coattails of those
(international) students with the gregarious personalities
and supporting the students who find it a little more
The committee at the Southern Tasmania Badminton Association,
they always ask us what we think needs changing. (They ask us)
do you want to play our rosters? Do you want to play our
state tournaments?
The manager set up event Facebook pages to invite people
that he knows and hence people he knows will invite their
friends and things like that. So I would say that there
is a strong back up from our social network.
If you say it to me that's one thing but if say it to me
and the person who has just helped me find a house says
it to me, then I just go actually this sounds like a good
idea. I think we need the double check. So if you find
your way to market through someone or organisation that
people already know or already trust, then I think that
makes the process a lot easier
When you engage them, don't engage them only one time
and don't follow it up. You need to have the momentum
to actually keep it going
Speaking with the CALD group you need to be a little
bit more articulate, you need to explain yourself a
little bit more clearly. So you're actually putting
a lot more into it and you get a lot more back
Firstly I would tell them that we have a very structured
place to play. We have a place to play, we have rosters
to play, we have fun people to play with, and definitely
we have events with food. So yeh Malaysians love food so
if there are activities plus food we'll come
You can come and play and enjoy yourself. It's fun. You
get to meet new people so you don't get bound to your
own community. You can improve yourself - communication skills and confidence.
When people are part of something together they have this
amazing bonding experience which remains when you walk away
The confidence that they develop in their game in terms
of improving themselves and their self confidence transforms into other aspects in terms of
their study and their ability to achieve results at university
but also in their ability to be able to seek work
and earn money and feel comfortable in our local community.
By hitting their soft spot - the things that they like,
they actually (respond). Basically talk sense to them.
Try to pull them in for once at least and then when
they actually like it you don't need to do much
they just come.