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This year, physical education teachers plan to add badminton to the freshman gym curriculum. The addition changes the regular cycle of common sports which focus upon basketball, volleyball, soccer, and European handball.
“I think it’s a unique way for Townsend Harris to show itself off as a school that provides variety,” said senior Jenny Shi. “Badminton is a unique sport, and we should be exposed to sports that aren’t the regular ones that we usually know like basketball and whatnot.”
Unlike soccer and basketball, badminton is not a commonly played sport in NYC high schools.
Badminton will not only be a part of freshman gym, but also select upperclassmen classes. Physical education teacher Ms. Caiaccia hopes to incorporate it into all gym classes.
She said she plans to work it in “for those special days when we mix up the offerings for current courses. For example, like the full body fitness class, they’re doing fitness every day, every day, every day, so it’s nice to mix it up and do badminton one day.”
Like many things in education, this new plan is easier said than done, as adding something new involves a great deal of planning and funding.
So, despite these aspirations, badminton requires special equipment, including racquets, birdies, and nets, which would be needed in large quantities. The school currently has a limited supply of badminton equipment.
“We don’t have enough equipment to do that right now so we’re trying to raise funds to buy the stuff that we need to be able to do it for a full unit,” explained Ms. Caiaccia.
She teamed up with other physical education teachers, Mr. Adamkiewicz and Ms. Figelman, to organize the Badminton Bash in an effort to raise money for equipment, a tournament fundraiser with 24 doubles teams playing for a tournament.
The fundraiser occurred on December 9 after school in the gym and featured a large audience and numerous groups of participants.