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Solibad’s Flashmob: First Succes in France

Posted by febrikusuma on June 5, 2010 – French Badminton Fans, Led by world star Pi Hongyan, gathered in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, to launch a new trend: A Flashmob dedicated to both badminton and charity foundation – Solibad.

It’s only beginning, as organizers plan a world-wide flashmob next year.

On the famous “Champ De Mars”, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, French badminton players started a trend which could become famous all over the world – the first “FLASHMOB” dedicated to badminton and a charity foundation SOLIBAD – Badminton Without Borders.

The choreography, which saw some tourists quite stunned on their way to France’s most visited monument, was led by none other than Pi Hongyan, bronze medallist at the last World Championships. The Chinese-born shuttler, six time national champion in her new home, started a badminton routine, holding a racket, before more than 200 fans, came from nowhere to join her on the grass, for what became a giant and synchronized choreography under the cameras of French National TV.

“It’s just amazing to be able to play here, to have fun, and to promote SOLIBAD at the same time. This place is special. It’s symbolic. I didn’t expect so many people to show up in spite of the bad weather. It shows badminton involves caring people” said Pi Hongyan.

A joy shared by SOLIBAD Founder, Badminton Reporter and photographer Raphael Sachetat : “This is just unique – playing in one of France’s most amazing places, enjoying ourselves, while promoting a work that helps the underprivileged. This is the image we want people to remember of SOLIBAD” added Sachetat, hinting that most of the crazy fans present on June 1st where the ones who helped to collect money for the projects in Bali and Kuala Lumpur. “It isthanks to their work that I was able to hand out a Cheque last month in Kuala Lumpur’s orphanage Sanctuary Care Center, during the Thomas Cup” added Sachetat.

Special guests

Amongst the other special guests gathering below the Eiffel Tower, some had come straight from Brazil – Sebastiao Oliveira and few of his young players – some of the best in the American continent. Oliveira runs a badminton Academy (project Miratus) in Brazil for underprivileged children, turning them into champions, with the help of DECATHLON, one of France’s major distributor. The French Company also contributed to one of SOLIBAD’s ongoing Project (“1000 rackets for Haiti” jointly coordinated by PEACE and SPORT) by giving out 40 rackets and shuttles tubes to be sent to Haiti right after Tuesday’s Flashmob.

Also, as special guests were Matthieu Lo Ying Ping, SOLIBAD Ambassador for France, who is currently the Nation’s second best shuttler and who happens to have African blood running in his veins – with a father originally from La Reunion Island. That’s three continents which were represented in Paris, with a fourth one added as some of Pi Hongyan’s friends who work in the Chinese Embassy in Paris had come to see how French think out of the box, together with their 3 year old daughter – the latter also enjoyed a “post Flashmob” badminton game with the fans.

Next step – A World wide Flashmob

The Flashmob which spread through the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter amongst the French badminton community was also followed in more than 7 cities in France, from Fougères in Britanny – France’s biggest club – to the Reunion Island, some 9300 kilometres away.

“We wanted to start in France, but this is only the beginning of a new and crazy adventure,” says Sachetat. “Next year, we’ll challenge every country to have their own flashmob – a giant gathering in symbolic places, wearing our colours, and playing badminton in the streets everywhere. We hope to have, some day, a “SOLIBAD Day” written in bold in the calendar of big badminton countries. I’m sure this will be a great way to enjoy ourselves while promoting our work.”

France will welcome the Yonex BWF World Championships in August, but the next event involving SOLIBAD on the world tour will be in Singapore where Top stars will ravish the home fans with some surprises during the upcoming Li-Ning Singapore Open from June 14th to 20th.

Wikipedia : A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual act for a brief time, then quickly disperse.

Contribute: Raphael SACHETAT
Phone: +33 66068 25 04 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +33 66068 25 04      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


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