This year, we attended the Australian U19 Championships in South Australia. Departing from Canberra on the 7 th July 2017, we arrived in Adelaide to represent the Australian Capital Territory. Our team consisted of Jessica Zhang, Lisa Xing, Zhixuan Sun, Cassandra Yap, Rita Tri, Junfeng Mai, Jordan Huynh, Pascal Souksavat, and the addition of New South Wales players Ricky Tang and Ryan Foo. We were accompanied by our insightful coach Shuen and our wonderful umpire Sheehan. South Australian Badminton Association generously hosted this event by providing us with a hall, along with a cafeteria to help replenish our energy.
The high standard of the players participating in this event forced us to bring out our best plays in order to put up a fight. By versing these tough opponents, our abilities as badminton players improved almost instantly, helping us recognise our skill in comparison to top players of our age group around Australia.
Although the main goal of this event was to hone our skills and compare our abilities, there also a social aspect to this experience. It created a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and build relationships with others who have similar interests/hobbies.
Overall, our experience in South Australia helped us learn many lessons, particularly those related to teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance. Just as the sports hall wisely states, “Determination defies defeat.” This quotation deeply resonated with us all and became an important moral that we all took into great account when tackling all opponents on the court. A large inspiring factor during both the process leading up to the games and the games itself was the unending support provided to us by our coach Shuen. He greatly helped us to improve our game on the court, as well as analyse our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, using this to our advantage. He also gave us great encouragement, giving us confidence and enthusiasm along with a strong willpower to always try our best and never give up.