Badminton club scores in the courtyard



During a meeting after school, the badminton club starts a doubles match. Other members wait their turn and encourage the players.

Students practice their skills within a noncompetitive environment. (ALEX LE//THE SCROLL)

It’s after school on a Wednesday. The courtyard is buzzing with excitement. Members have rushed out of class to get there. Sachin Prahalathan (9) and Saanvi Kumar (10), the founder, set up the badminton net with members eagerly waiting to play. During matches, Kumar leads games and passes out snacks to members.

Only requiring a racquet, shuttlecock and net, players are able to improve their reflexes, metabolism and endurance while building a community. Although badminton can be extremely technical and complex since players focus on footwork and strive to strike the birdie at the perfect angle, the long-term benefits can be highly rewarding.  

“We just meet up in the courtyard, and whoever wants to play can play,” Kumar said.“[And] we play in doubles, so it’s a team sport.” 

Kumar was influenced by her family playing badminton at events and found that she enjoyed playing the sport. She saw the lack of a badminton club and wanted to create one to introduce and help others enjoy the sport like her. 

“I got inspired to try something new, and I saw my uncle play, so I picked up badminton and I really enjoyed it and kept on playing,” Kumar said. “I thought it would be nice to play with other people who wanted to improve.”

The club gives an opportunity to play a sport that is not advertised much in the United States and find friends who also play the sport. Compared to other American sports, badminton is not very popular and thus is not played a lot in other schools.

“Ever since I moved to America, I didn’t have anyone to play badminton with,” Sebastian Sayong (9) said “But when I found out there was a club in WSHS, I decided to join the aforementioned club.” 

Because of the small player base, one challenge the club has experienced has been finding other schools to play against. 

“Badminton isn’t that big of a sport here,” Kumar said. “It is in other places, but here, no one plays badminton, so it’s going to be hard to find other schools to play against.” 

Since the badminton club is fairly new, it has plans to expand in the coming years. Currently, it remains a place where students can express their passion for the sport and enjoy it with others when they usually don’t have that opportunity.

“It reminds me of how I used to be back in Asia, where I used to play [badminton] with my friends all day,” Sayong said. “It just gives me nostalgia, so that’s what keeps me going.”