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Papua New Guinea

Focus Area
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Inclusive GymBad modifies badminton and gymnastics activities for people of all abilities. / Credit: Pacific Sports Partnerships

Badminton and gymnastics unite for inclusion

The Inclusive GymBad program aims to remove or reduce the barriers experienced by people with a disability, particularly women and girls, to participate equally. We recognise that this may mean that some people require additional support or resources in order to participate. 

Activity involves inclusion programs from the sports of gymnastics and badminton:  

  • GymAbility is a gymnastics-based movement program designed to suit all levels of physical and mental ability.
  • Shuttle Time lessons are designed to provide participants of all abilities with a positive image of badminton through many opportunities to have fun, engage with others and experience success. 

In addition to participation, this phase of the GymBad program will focus on developing leadership skills by delivering Shuttle Time and GymAbility coaching workshops targeted at people with disabilities, particularly women and girls. Our goal is that people with disabilities, particularly women, develop the skills to deliver quality enjoyable, safe and inclusive GymBad sessions and, in doing so, become role models for participants with disabilities.

Interplast Australia and New Zealand (previously Motivation Australia) joins this partnership as an Australian not-for-profit disability and development organisation that has been engaged in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 2005. Their work is about creating positive and lasting change for all people who require rehabilitation and assistive technology. Interplast does this by building the capacity of local organisations and their personnel to make services more inclusive and deliver specific services such as rehabilitation and assistive technology. They will deliver peer-to-peer training, a development strategy that focuses on the provision of training, support and basic (non-medical) rehabilitation for people with a disability, delivered by those with a similar disability.

Leadership and networking opportunities will enable our target participants to stand for election on national federations, ensuring they have a voice at the decision-making table.

A GymBad goal is to employ trained and identified people with disability as key leaders in our program, whether that be in coaching, administration, or project management support, so we truly lead by example and ensure there is ‘nothing about us without us’.


For details, contact Nadia Bleaken at, or Laurel Vagi at

Inclusive gymbad in numbers


coaches trained


per cent of staff/coaches/volunteers are people with disability



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Inclusive Gymbad milestones


Innovation research project ‘Can sports change attitudes towards children with disabilities?’ in conjunction with Table Tennis Australia and Oceania Paralympic Committee


Papua New Guinea inclusion focus program begins


Badminton Oceania begins leading the program after withdrawal of Badminton Australia


Program reactivates after COVID-19 lockdown with 10 new coaches trained, delivering activities to 17 communities 


Awarded the Community Sports Initiative Award at the PNG Sports Awards in May, acknowledging its efforts in promoting inclusivity in the PNG sports sector


Facilitated GEDSI workshop for staff, workforce and Partners of Inclusive GymBad


Participation of Inclusive GymBad athlete at Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany (the first time Special Olympics PNG athletes have participated in badminton), winning medals in mixed doubles and women’s singles


Inclusive GymBad athletes attended two international Para badminton events in Western Australia


Collaboration with the National Orthotic and Prosthetic Services enabled two athletes and coaches with a disability to begin the process of being fitted for prosthetic legs, which will increase their overall mobility


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