2019 President’s Report


On behalf of ACTBA, I would like to present this year’s President’s Report. This year was always going to be a year of change and transition for ACTBA, with only Robynne Mah continuing in the Secretary role.  As a new Executive Committee, we had a lot to learn and do. We also needed to quickly bring together a coherent understanding of the key issues facing our sport and affiliated clubs.

The new committee has undertaken an enormous step to shift the pendulum towards addressing a number of these longer-term risks and issues that require strategic thinking and good planning. We have established a new Business Plan to help define how ACTBA functions and to addresses what we see as key emerging issues. With good feedback from the clubs incorporated into this Plan, it has allowed each of the Executive Committee the opportunity to lead one of the key focus areas and push forward towards the Plans goal ‘To advance Badminton as a sport of choice in the ACT’.

Our focus areas, positively acknowledged by the clubs are:

  • Improving Coaching and Training across Schools and Clubs
  • Enabling broader participation in competitions
  • Improve participation, membership and sponsorship opportunities
  • Improve the availability of badminton courts across ACT
  • Improve the way ACTBA communicates with key stakeholders and the community
  • Promote and encourage improving how badminton is played at club level and in competitions

The committee itself has been working hard behind the scenes engaging in strategic conversations with ACT clubs, ACT Schools, the ACT Government, Private Badminton Centre owners in NSW & Victoria and Badminton Australia to address how ACTBA can improve participation, infrastructure and the quality of Badminton across ACT.

The Sporting Schools Grant funding has enabled several ACT Schools to access grant money to buy Badminton equipment and hire a coach to provide student and teacher coaching, and just in 2019 School Term 4 we were able to:

  • Train 8 teachers from Lyneham High School to become Shuttle Time instructors for their students;
  • Provide a coach for Alfred Deakin High to teach their students
  • Provide The Woden School with a coach to teach their students

With the Sporting Schools Grant continuing next year we hope we can teach more students how to play and love the game. Recent feedback from Alfred Deakin High expressed their extreme gratitude to the coach (Tai-Laing Ko) for holding such inclusive lessons that even had normally disinterested students and a couple of disabled students participating who had been sitting out classes all term. Feedback like this is fantastic and highlights the importance of ACTBA getting more active in providing quality coaching for school students who are the future of our sport.

Some of the other highlights of the past year are:

  • An increase in ACTBA registered members to over 700 (increase of over 30%)
    • Two additional clubs became affiliated with ACTBA
    • However, female players remain low overall.
  • ACT Open and Interclub competitions
    • These competitions saw an increase in participation especially with female participation across C and D grades, however numbers were slightly lower than previous year.
  • CGS Open participation numbers were slightly up from previous year (on a low base)
  • We ran a Shuttle Time for teachers’ course for Lyneham High School
  • Gaining a participation grant from Badminton Australia
  • November 17th, we ran a Shuttle Time Coaches course for 20 players, who are now qualified and hopefully soon to be accredited with Badminton Australia.
  • Trialled an intraclub competition with the Gungahlin Badminton club.

However, we still have a long way to go with the repositioning of ACTBA including:

  • Changing our operating model starting with tightening our governance around information management, document management and emails.
  • Shift our traditional thinking and push the boundaries to become a more professional association if we are to ever become a competing force against other high profiles sports in ACT and with our interstate counterparts.
  • Better engagement, promotion and commitment from our association clubs and their members for greater engagement, particularly getting them involved with new initiatives.

It is with reluctance that I needed to step away from the Presidency of ACTBA, but personal and work commitments are not allowing me to spend the time needed to really do the Presidents job justice. Over the last month or so I have cleared the way for a new president to take the reigns and will support them in whatever capacity they would like me to play in the future.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the ACTBA Committee members for supporting me over the last 12 months and for their dedication in volunteering their time to improve Badminton in the ACT. Special thanks goes to the Executive and Tournament Committees for their extra effort and time ensuring that our Association and competitions ran smoothly.

Executive Committee Award

The Executive Committee voted unanimously to recognise one individual this year who has espoused all the excellent personal qualities, integrity and passion for the sport of badminton and their contribution to the improvement in performance of badminton in the  ACT. This individual has coached tirelessly week in week out, was a nationally certificated line judge at the Australian Open this year and Commonwealth Games last year. She also happens to be the mother of 3 talented ACT junior representative players Pascal, Aline and Cedric.  It is with pleasure we acknowledge Valouny Soukavat for her dedication and hard work. Along with the framed award is a $100 gift voucher from ACTBA. Congratulations Val!

Thank you for your attention, and I’m looking forward to a fantastic 2020 year for badminton in the ACT!

Best Wishes,
Vikram Varma
President ACTBA