Dragons team report on the Phoenix Badminton Tournament 2020
By SitiNuraishah, Activities Department, East Campus
Over the holidays, the UWCSEA East Dragons 19U Boys and Girls teams participated in the Phoenix Badminton Invitational held at UWCSEA Dover, competing in over three days' worth of matches. Good job for the great season opener!
Coach Wei Yin, commenting on the women's teams, said "The inaugural Phoenix Badminton Invitational 2020 was a fitting way to start the year as UWCSEA East sent in two women’s teams comprised of U19 and U14 athletes. Although the athletes were still in the midst of their break, they brought enthusiasm, commitment and team spirit to the table.
In the round robin, the two teams faced challenging opponents made up of a blend of local and international school students. There were times when the athletes felt demoralized but they were reminded that the only way to improve was to compete at a higher level.
Comprising mostly of U14 students, the second UWCSEA East team came with much lauded courage, surmounting their fear of stiff competition from the older U19 crowd. Despite coming in last, they played and fought remarkably. Their courage to compete is a harbinger of future promising performance to come.
While UWCSEA East's first team put up a convincing performance and came in third in the semi finals, some cold feet and minor injuries rendered them a close 3-4 loss to UWCSEA Dover in the finals. It was an invaluable lesson for the team as they learnt not to take early victories for granted and the unpredictable nature of sports.
Overall, we are incredibly proud of our two women’s teams for their valiant and strong efforts over their last weekend before school starts. Sans doute, the athletes are spurred on to continue training hard and loving the game. A great way to start the forthcoming U19 season. Up and on!"
Of the boys teams, Coach Destyan said, "The boys showed a great mentality from the start till the end and were fearless against top badminton schools and clubs. Team spirit was on full display throughout the tournament as they could always be seen cheering and supporting each other through all the challenging games.
While we showed slight rust and fitness issues due to the holiday break, we compensated with plenty of fighting spirit and passion in the matches. We fought for every point, we dived for every seemingly impossible shot, and we put in a conscious effort to implement the improvements needed from every post-match brief by the coaching team. The boys stayed confident and in their 5th/6th playoff match against UWCSEA Dover, they put in an incredible and determined effort, only narrowly losing 3 - 4 overall.
There was a huge leap in terms of improvements from their round robin display against the same school which resulted in a 1 - 6 loss, and this was only made possible due to the boys' coachability and desire to be the best version of themselves. This tournament serves as a great platform for the boys to pick up and improve other aspects of their games, and it's been a rewarding time for them to forge an even closer bond and camaraderie. Go Dragons!"