I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone how much I actually love playing badminton. In Secondary school, I absolutely detested going for trainings because I was obligated to do so. Perhaps back then, I was too immature and blinded by rage to separate the hatred at being forced to go for trainings and how I feel about badminton, the sport itself, and so I sort of just lumped all these angry feelings under the umbrella idea of: I hate badminton.

But that’s probably the furthest away from the truth. I truly enjoy the sport a lot. Since/After Secondary school, my dad and I would go down to Temasek Club, and then Guild House, to play an hour or two of badminton on random occasions — and these games were always fun, although rather unfulfilling. Not to sound arrogant, but it got boring playing with him after a while because there was barely any challenge in that.

I remember feeling incredibly wary about signing up to play Badminton for IFG in Year 1; like, am I seriously going to put myself through the terror of badminton trainings again?. I’m so glad I did though. I think playing for USP/playing with More Than Just Badminton (the IG with possibly the most ridiculous application ever) re-kindled the love I have for this sport. Training in Secondary school took away that fun because more than just being obligatory, there was just too much focus on winning and triumphing over someone else — there was always this constant pressure to make sure you weren’t the worst in that sense; and that suffocating stress is simply absent with MTJB.

Okay, yes we are training to win ICG right now (and I’m very sure we will because the team is so awesome omg); but above all, the most important thing is to have fun and to just play the sport well. What was always missing from training in St Nicks was the inner motivation to get better, to improve, to be willing to push myself beyond my comfort point; but I’ve found that drive again with the wonderful group of people I’m glad to call my team mates. 

Playing today at training felt like the right mix of exhaustion yet self-satisfied drive: legs were shaking, hands were trembling, breath was heavy, but nothing stops until the game is over. And in that haze of tiredness, you find the absolute joy of playing the sport. 

This is a little sappy from me, but the five games I played today were really just a progression of happiness/tiredness and it was just a good feeling — especially the match between Alfred/Weijie vs MinXun/me. That match was just insane but so, so good.

for the love of the sport indeed