A week-end where Badminton rhymes with Charity

December 10th marked the 3rd anniversary of the foundation Solibad – Badminton without Borders, but this past week-end overall was the stage of different charity events: in France, with a […]

December 10th marked the 3rd anniversary of the foundation – Badminton without Borders, but this past week-end overall was the stage of different charity events: in France, with a lot of badminton clubs participating in the National Day “Telethon” while Jenny Wallwork and a bunch of UK badminton Stars raised more than £4000 for the research against lung cancer.

December 10th is quite a symbolic day. It is the anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, but also, the anniversary of Solibad – Badminton without Borders, a charity foundation which was born exactly 3 years ago at the appeal of Pi Hongyan and a long list of badminton stars including Taufik Hidayat, Peter Gade, Nathan Robertson, Saina Nehwal, Lee Yong Dae to name a few.

The foundation is helping small projects in different parts of the world, raising funds by auctioning stars’ shirts or rackets, but also thanks to local clubs that create events locally, like the club of Issy Les Moulineaux, one of France’s biggest clubs, which had their annual tournament this week-end, to raise funds for Solibad –they managed to get €500 for the foundation.

In 3 years, Solibad has managed to raise more than €40 000 and has helped different projects in France, Malaysia, Indonesia, Haiti, Vietnam, Brazil and Mauritius with more projects in sight in Thailand, India and other parts of the world. In Brazil, for instance, the money collected by Solibad goes to a structure which welcomes children coming from a very violent environment in the townships of Recife, and not only puts the kids back to school, but provide them with lodging and food, a psychological help, but also the opportunity to live their dreams and become professional badminton players. A badminton academy has been set up, where they train on a daily basis, hoping, one day, to make it to the Brazilian national team in time for the Olympic Games.

Recently, Suzanne Rayappan and Sarah Bok were the first players to officially tie a partnership with Solibad, announcing that 20% of their prize money would go to the foundation, hoping that other players would follow their paths.

We are quite amazed that in 3 years only, we were able to achieve so much. Not only for the money we’ve collected, but mostly for the way Solibad values and ideas spread around the world. We are getting known all over the planet thanks to our Ambassadors, and we do hope that the future will allow us to help more and more projects,” says Raphael Sachetat, the founder and President of the charity foundation.

Appeal for Lung Cancer by UK Stars

Rayappan and Bok were also involved in another charity event this week end, at the appeal of Jenny Wallwork (photo).  The “Smash Lung Cancer” event raised over £4000 as Wallwork, together with her boyfriend Nathan Robertson but also a lot of current or former UK stars, showed up to play exhibition and friendly matches with the public.

I can’t believe it. The day was a huge success.  We were so touched by the amount of people that not only turned up but some who stayed for the full 8 hours. The players were fantastic and the kids and adults absolutely loved the opportunity to play with not only the GB team but other players such as Sarah Bok, Suzanne Rayappan. It was really touching to see how many people reached out to donate for such a fantastic cause. It also showed how popular badminton can really be and how many people want to play,” said Wallwork, whose grandmother, Mary, died of lung cancer few years ago.

Elsewhere in France, dozens of badminton clubs joined the “Telethon”, a nation-wide appeal for fight against genetic diseases and others. Every year, artists, TV shows and a lot of cities join their effort to raise money for this cause and badminton clubs are doing their bits – this year, in Brittany for instance, the club of Boisgervilly invited friends to participate in a “blackminton” night where they gave a bit of money to play in the dark with glowing rackets and shuttles. Through out these activities and TV shows, the “telethon” raised more than €80 million in 3 days.

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.