Monday, November 30, 2015

badminton

When I wrote about basketball, Choon suggested that the kids could play badminton.

Once he got off the plane, we popped into the nearby mall and got a pair of badminton rackets and a canister of shuttlecocks.

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* In the carpark

It’s been a huge hit. But what strikes me about badminton is how it’s such a perfect poor man’s sport (don’t count jogging).
  • The equipment is cheap ($30 for two rackets and it comes with two free plastic shuttlecocks. The $21 canister of feathered shuttlecocks were bought at Choon’s insistence)
  • It can be played anywhere, there’s no need to rent courts
  • It doesn’t require special attire aside from shoes, and there's nothing pretentious about it
Not only is the cost barrier very low, it’s also easy to pick up. I don’t mean being a pro, but it’s easy to have fun at badminton very quickly, unlike cycling or roller-blading or tennis or bowling where you need a longer learning runway to even start enjoying it.

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* Kaofu Choon never leaves home without his hat (a habit from too-sunny Australia) 

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That’s why Lu loves the game. The racket is so light, and the thwack of the shuttlecock on the strings is so satisfying, she is quite happy to play it with Jo.

It’s the one sporting activity Lu has done so far which elicits perspiration, and where she doesn’t complain about how it’s too difficult or how she “got no chance” or how she’s so lousy etc etc.

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Their Gong Gong was a former badminton champion who once won a huge trophy (he denies it), and he hasn't forgotten any of the technique, although he doesn't seem very keen anymore. He'd rather cut the grass as we play around him.

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* Dispensing tips to Lulu

When I did a book with the sports school, one of the most surprising things was that all I interviewed universally acknowledged that the badminton players were the hardest-working lot amongst all the athletes, and were perpetually sweating it out in drills and whatnot. Their training is apparently the most sadistic. I think it takes a lot to be a great badminton player.

Happily, we are lousy players having fun.

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