MHSNews | Badminton Club Sees Growth in Members

By Zara Tola and Shon Sayfuddinov

Out of all of the sports activities offered at MHS, senior Claire Zhang said there is one sport she truly can enjoy like no other: badminton.

“I’m not a really athletic person or someone who is really good at sports,” Zhang said. “I remember in middle school, one of the P.E. activities that I really enjoyed was playing ping-pong and badminton because you don’t have to move that much to play.”

Zhang, who is a member of the badminton club, said the sport is great because it doesn’t require much equipment compared to other sports and the club is a great way to make friends.

The badminton club, which held its first meeting last Thursday, has gained more members this year due to the convenience of hosting the club during Flex Time and the increasing interest of students in the club itself.

Alita Sunil, senior, started the club, which meets during C-day Flex time the first and third weeks of the month. She organized the club two years ago to play badminton leisurely and teach others about the unconventional sport. In addition to the club at MHS, Sunil has played badminton competitively for 7 years.

“It is the fastest sport in terms of moving objects in the world, so that’s pretty cool,” Sunil said. “You need a lot of speed and explosiveness, and you have to have a lot of thinking. Club-wise it’s for all levels because most people haven’t really played before.”

Senior Natalie Harvey has enjoyed participating in badminton club in addition to playing on the varsity tennis team due to her love for racket sports.

“There’s no skill, just whacking a birdie at each other.” Harvey said. “You have to hit it up; it’s kind of a mix of tennis and volleyball in a way. It’s different, but it’s fun.”

Harvey also said the club is a nice brain break, which she said many students need, and it is a great way to get frustrations out.

Felicia Durst, physical education teacher, tried to start a badminton club more than a decade ago, but said students didn’t want to show up before school for the club and they couldn’t meet after school due to limited gym space.

“I think that the club happening during Flex Time is getting more interest and giving kids something to do during Flex,” Durst said.

Kevin Sharitz, badminton club sponsor, regularly plays badminton with Durst and shares the love for badminton that the club members have. Sharitz said the clubs like badminton club are great because it allows students to try new things, which is what high school is all about.

“It’s probably not something that colleges offer in America. It’s not really publicized very much,” Sharitz said.“I think that it’s played, it’s just that there’s no professional, so you don’t usually have as much of a following if there’s no professional version that’s popular.”

This story was originally published on Marquette Messenger on February 13, 2020.