Stepping up to the plate, or, in this case, nuzzling up to the net, Special Olympics Guam and the Guam National Badminton Federation have made Guam even more special. 

On Friday morning, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel Guam in Tamuning, the SOG and the GNBF signed a memorandum of understanding, bringing badminton to Guam’s Special Olympians. 

“On the behalf of the Guam National Badminton Federation, we want to thank the Special Olympics for selecting our sport ... ,” said Sandra Low, GNBF president. “We are most excited because it will showcase badminton as a sport for all.”

“The requirements are minimal," she added. "It’s a fun game, and it’s suitable for all stages - all ages - of fitness level," she added. “I firmly believe that there is a sport for every child. And, in this day and age with the obesity rate and diabetes rate, we need a sport for every child.”

Today, at 8 a.m, volunteers are urged to show up at the Guam Football Association training room in Harmon. 

“You don’t have to be a top player to help,” Low said.

Ian Piencenaves, a badminton coach from the Philippines, will be on hand to help educate volunteers. He will offer badminton training from 6 to 8 p.m., Mondays and Fridays at the Guam Sports Complex in Dededo.

“It is my pleasure to be here and help guide educators and the volunteers as well as having a session with the children,” Piencenaves said. … “This is all about making the sport of badminton accessible for everyone. 

“Eventually, we aim to have children here in Guam, with a disability, to compete in an international competition.”

Low said that one of her goals is to find and develop a high-level Special Olympian badminton player.

“Para Olympics is one of the goals of our national Olympic committee,” she said. “This is something that we’re really looking forward to, finding our next Para Olympian.”