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Friday, December 5, 2008

Where I play badminton

I love to play badminton. I started playing without proper training at age 7.

Back then, badminton is a religion in SEA, mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia.

I grew up with legends like Misbun, Morten Frost, Zhao Jian Hua, Yang Yang, Lim Swee King, Peter Gade, Chen Hong etc.

I have played all over Singapore, but mostly either the West or Central.

But seriously I regretted not playing in the school team, mainly to concentrate on my studies so that I could become a medical scientist. Back then, taking sports as a career is frown upon in my society. Parents/teachers used to say that pro-athletes in highly aerobics/explosive sport like badminton is limited by age/physical ability. Once your heart rate and lung capacity drops, like mid 30s, your career as an athlete is likely over. Not only that, the joints become less flexible and more prone to injury. This is due to the thicker collagen fibres secreted by fibroblast over a period of time and the body's ability to repair as quickly as a youth's body diminishes. Another negative side effect of badminton, is it's a high impact sport. Particularly damaging is damage to the cartilage, meniscus and the ligaments (ACL etc). Even as a kid or teen, these joint injuries is devastating. Modern science still have a ways to go. Stem cells seems promising but they need a lot of understanding before it's FDA approved safe for routine clinical use. Right now its still in largely in clinical trials phase.

However, on the bright side, Badminton unlike other sports like soccer/basketball is a true life-long sports. It's played by the young, old and young at heart.In Singapore, we can see people from 3 generation plahying. Kids, dads, and grandfathers. Not only that, badminton is highly addictive and truly a social sports, uniting people from different ethnic, age, language and gender backgrounds. It's not uncommon to see people of different races playing together like old friends, although in real life, it's not so evident.

Now I am realizing my dreams but not in badminton. But I play regularly after I graduated. I played in Canada and Malaysia before. Regretted I didn't join Kwun's group in San Jose (Badminton central), when I was stationed in Milpitas Ca, next to the Great Mall. My ex-coach quitted his stable job to becoming a full time coach. Now he is reaping the benefits. There is a promising demand for coaches in Singapore.

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