Monday, September 29, 2014

We ♥ badminton

A couple of weeks ago, Kenneth brought Andre to try out the badminton courts in the OCBC Arena at the new Sports Hub.

Andre loves the hall. It has wooden flooring overlaid with green mats, giving the surface the right amount of friction and bounce that you don't get with community centre courts (those tend to have cement floors, which can be tough on the knees).

Andre's love for badminton has steadily grown over the years, which makes us happy. We think it's a fantastic lifelong skill and will keep him active and healthy. School training takes place three times a week and there is a tremendous emphasis on fitness. Sometimes, after a three-hour training stint, the students have to run 6km. That sounds impossible to me but apparently it's quite the norm for school training.

Ever since Andre started secondary school, he no longer has private coaching due to lack of time but quite fortunately, that was when Uncle Arthur entered the picture. Arthur is actually a client of mine and when I found out that he was a badminton buff, I asked if he would like to play with Andre. That triggered an almost weekly routine of badminton games between the two, for about two years now. Arthur is a wonderful mentor, patient and generous with advice. Andre totally looks up to Arthur as his role model: "When I grow up, I want to be just like Uncle Arthur!"

Just a bit of trivia - Andre's favourite badminton player is Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei. Such grace on the court - both physically and in personality.

I used to be able to take videos of Andre's school matches but now that he's older, he has banned me from attending his games :( But he has allowed us to record his Saturday game with Arthur so here are a couple of recent ones.

The second clip is spliced from a few videos to capture some of the longer rallies, otherwise the clips can be boring with many starts and stops. So here are the more exciting bits and obviously, I picked segments where Andre played well so even though it may not be apparent from the videos, I need to state upfront that Arthur is a MUCH better player than Andre, haha. If Andre can take one set from Arthur, he considers it a good day for him.

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