PNG members lay down their rackets to assist local food bank project in response to COVID-19

Shuttle Time teachers, a Para badminton coach, and the President of Badminton Papua New Guinea (PNG) laid down their rackets and put their hands to good use with a local food bank project.

Joining a handful of other Paralympians and local community groups, the compassionate volunteers helped to organise and distribute hundreds of food supplies.

Donations to the NCD ‘Feed The Hungry’ campaign flooded in from local citizens and businesses around Port Moresby, to be delivered to the homeless, deprived families and those with disabilities who face significant complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PNG President, Kinivanagi Karo, lead the packaging and storage workforce which included the nation’s Para badminton coach, Brian Karo, who also leads PNG’s Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP).

The PNG-Australia partnership with the Australian Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs provides aid to deliver Shuttle Time sessions in PNG, which has a focus on the theme – inclusion. The initiative celebrated international success earlier this year as participants from the sessions went on to medal at the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2020.

Now, the team can give back to the same community.

“We want to demonstrate that sport is always here to help the community,” said Kinivanagi Karo. 

“It’s great to offer support to assist a community which is so close to our badminton community too,” continued Karo.

The team are almost a week into their services, which started by cleaning out a large venue before creating a highly efficient system to organise the food bags, which started distribution across Port Moresby on Saturday.

The food collections are set to continue until the end of May, in which time the avid Shuttle Time teachers and PNG members plan to continue their services, in the hope of being joined by some of their Para badminton players depending on the lockdown laws that are currently in place.