Already into seven weeks of the new academic year, students are longing for Activity Week, Quarter-break, and so on; however, certain events and people make school fun enough for students to stick around. One of those few attractions are sports events that take place at school, and more so are the many inspirational and hard working sports stars who represent Woodstock throughout the year; one such sports star is Khush Patel, Class of 2019 and a passionate badminton player.
During his 6-year career at Woodstock, Patel has played many sports including interschool cricket and now badminton, alongside football and table-tennis for fun. However, currently, Patel is most focused on interschool Badminton and climbs up to the gym “almost every morning to practice with Mr. Negi (his coach)” for the upcoming interschool tournaments that are so important for his “mentality” and his “fitness.”
Although all the hype surrounding sports might cover it up, Patel’s story with badminton is an inspirational one; it is a story of commitment and hard work.
Patel came across badminton for the first time back in 4th grade, in his old school, where he “played badminton during Physical Education (PE) classes.” However, Patel said he was “demotivated” because he was not the best player around.
Later, being called for the interschool team didn’t help either,
Patel’s loss at the competition he participated in 4th grade made him subject to comments he “didn’t like.” However, determined “to prove them all wrong,” Patel decided to keep working hard at the sport he “really liked.” Now, he aspires to win at Woodstock.
Although “the facilities helped [Patel’s] enthusiasm” for Badminton grow at Woodstock, he believes the team still needs a lot “more space because there are a lot of people, so the coaches can’t focus on everyone and we can’t do fitness and badminton skills at once. We need more space.”
Despite this setback, Patel showed full confidence in his coaches and his teammates.
“Mr. Negi and Mr. Gordon are good coaches. They push people to push their limits, and we have a good number of players who show good enthusiasm,” he said.
Currently, Patel has set his eyes on an upcoming badminton tournament towards the end of September.
“I hope to win there,” he said.
However, Patel is not all about winning and losing. His love for the sport, which he actually describes as a “hobby” will “hopefully” carry him to “keep playing Badminton at a competitive level” after he graduates.
“I would like to meet new people who I can play with and improve my game,” he said.
Photo by Mikko Aoki Liu