The first big surprise for me was being chosen for one of OSC’s badminton teams, OSC B, to participate in SAISA which was hosted here as well! I was extremely excited but also anxious because over the winter break, I wasn’t able to practice very much and not at all with the team, since I was abroad in Malaysia. The 2 weeks after the break and before the tournament, however, I made sure to show up to every single practice and really do my best to improve my skills and work with my doubles partners, Shreya and Jamaal. I also worked on my singles more and because the final team players were chosen, I was able to play more often and apply strategy and gameplay tips from other SAISA team players.
It all began with the team matches, which were the highlights of the whole SAISA, because it really bred camaraderie between us as a team. During my singles matches I tended to get very nervous and make a lot of mistakes, but I think I really did try to play my best and improve my gameplay throughout. It was definitely disheartening whenever I I lost a match, but I knew to learn from those mistakes and felt more confident as I played more matches. Following the advice of Mr. Pradeep, if a strategy is working against them, keep using it; if your strategy isn’t working against them, change it. I was able to catch up in terms of points when I was playing against during the second half of the match most of the time, and I was proud of myself for that, even if ultimately I might’ve not won. I’m also very proud of the teamwork between my doubles partners, although Shreya and I ran into communication problems as we played more matches, we were able to mend that. I made so many mistakes when playing with Jamaal that we did encounter during practice, but I’m glad he was still supportive and we won a lot of games together through teamwork nonetheless!
In the end, OSC B placed 5th in a total of 11 schools in SAISA, which was definitely impressive! I tried my best in the singles tournament and doubles tournament and the following consolidation matches that followed as well, although I wasn’t able to place very high. Overall, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my coaches, Mr. Pradeep, Andre and Ms. Tharu. This was the most unforgettable experience for me, and taught me how to persevere and enjoy in a competitive sport, both for myself and for a team!