SOLIBAD – French launch first Badminton Flashmob

Almost 200 french fans gathered under the rain on June 1st on the Champs de Mars  faciong the Eiffel Tower to promote SOLIBAD – Badminton Without Borders in a unique […]

flashmob-newsAlmost 200 french fans gathered under the rain on June 1st on the Champs de Mars  faciong the Eiffel Tower to promote – Badminton Without Borders in a unique way. Several cities in France took up the challenge for what could become a new trend for badminton – A Flashmob dedicated to Charity and badminton

First, there was Pi Hongyan, starting a badminton “shadow” routine, alone on the empty XXX square Meter grass of the Champs de Mars – one of Paris’s biggest Park right down the Eiffel Tower. One after the other, she was joined by badminton fans; And soon it was the whole “pelouse” which was fileld with T-shirts in the colours of the rainbow colours – which happen to be the same ones as the SOLIBAD logo, before the cameras of French TV.

It’s just amazing to be able to play here, to have fun, and to promote SOLIBAD at the same time. This place is special. It’s symbolic. I didn’t expect so many people to show up in spite of the bad weather. It shows badminton involves caring people” said Pi Hongyan.

A joy shared by SOLIBAD Founder, Badminton Reporter and photographer Raphael Sachetat : “This is just unique – playing in one of France’s most amazing places, enjoying ourselves, while promoting a work that helps the underprivileged. This is the image we want people to remember of SOLIBAD” added Sachetat, hinting that most of the crazy fans present on June 1st where the ones who helped to collect money for the projects in Bali and Kuala Lumpur. “It is thanks to their work that I was able to hand out a Cheque last month in Kuala Lumpur’s orphanage Sanctuary Care Center, during the Thomas Cup” added Sachetat.

_AFA4987Special guests

Amongst the other special guests gathering below the Eiffel Tower, some had come straight from Brazil – Sebastiao Oliveira and few of his young players – some of the best in the American continent. Oliveira runs a badminton Academy (project Miratus)  in Brazil for underprivileged children, turning them into champions, with the help of DECATHLON, one of France’s major distributor.  The French Company also contributed to one of SOLIBAD’s ongoing Project (“1000 rackets for Haiti” jointly coordinated by PEACE and SPORT) by giving out 40 rackets and shuttles tubes to be sent to Haiti right after Tuesday’s Flashmob.

Also, as special guests were Matthieu Lo Ying Ping, SOLIBAD Ambassador for France, who is currently the Nation’s second best shuttler and who happens to have African blood running in his veins – with a father originally from La Reunion Island. That’s three continents which were represented in Paris, with a fourth one added as some of Pi Hongyan’s friends who work in the Chinese Embassy in Paris had come to see how French think out of the box, together with their 3 year old daughter – the latter also enjoyed a “post Flashmob” badminton game with the fans.

Next step – A World wide Flashmob

The Flashmob which spread through the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter amongst the French badminton community was also followed in more than 7 cities in France, from Fougères in Britanny – France’s biggest club – to the Reunion Island, some 9300 kilometres away, where, as a very strong symbol, the Flashmob took place on a badminton field, where some youngsters were playing world’s biggest sport before being stunned by strangers holding a racket and throwing a shuttle up in the air.

“We wanted to start in France, but this is only the beginning of a new and crazy adventure,” says Sachetat. “Next year, we’ll challenge every country to have their own flashmob – a giant gathering in symbolic places, wearing our colours, and playing badminton in the streets everywhere. We hope to have, some day, a “SOLIBAD Day” written in bold in the calendar of big badminton countries. I’m sure this will be a great way to enjoy ourselves while promoting our work.

France will welcome the Yonex BWF World Championships in August, but the next event involving SOLIBAD on the world tour will be in Singapore where Top stars will ravish the home fans with some surprise prizes during the upcoming Li-Ning Singapore Open from June 14th to 20th.

Wikipedia : A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a brief time, then quickly disperse.

Here are some videos from Paris, La Reunion, Fougeres, Orléans and Poitiers, where Flashmobs took place

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.