ISKL Crowds swarmed the gym this past weekend to watch Badminton boys and girls compete against the other five IASAS schools as the finale to season three. On the topic of finality, several badminton players reflected upon their weekend and how it felt to be playing at home for the last IASAS event hosted at this campus.
Several players such as Anqi, ‘20, had their first IASAS experiences at home. She claimed she felt some intensity and pressure as she wasn’t used to having large crowds of her classmates watching. Badminton doesn’t typically attract large crowds throughout its regular season, so it was especially different for her to see a significant amount of people filling the stands. Although at first this made her slightly nervous, especially as the competition was tough, she eventually became “proud to be a participant representing ISKL. Parents and students were shouting and cheering even when we were losing our games.” She commented on the confidence she was able to gain from having to play in front of these crowds of her peers.
The boys team had a tough weekend as they dealt with some unfortunate losses. In the semi finals they fell short to a strong team, JIS, who eventually would win the gold medal. They then were playing in the bronze medal match against Singapore. Although the boys had beat Singapore in the Round Robin section of the tournament 3-2, they ended up losing by a single point and coming in fourth overall. Varun, ‘18, one of the co-captains of the boys team and the only senior, felt some definite disappointment ending the tournament without a medal. He claimed he was able to remain positive, due to the outpouring of support from his peers and teachers watching him throughout their matches. He thanks the crowd and his parents for coming, and felt that the team was able to build more overall hype surrounding the event. “It was a more enjoyable experience as the crowd is cheering for you rather than the other teams,” added Varun.
Bausch, ‘20, the other captain of the varsity team, notes that although many were excited to be participating in IASAS at home, others felt significantly more pressure to perform well. “The home crowd definitely added a new dynamic to our games. Most of us were scared by it at first, however others were able to thrive off of the support from our fellow panthers.” This transition from initial nerves to eventual confidence was emulated by many other players.
For everyone that is able to participate in any varsity sport, it is undeniable that having IASAS at home is a special experience. Athletes are able to show off months of hard work to their classmates and experience an outpouring of support for their efforts from their peers and teachers. The badminton teams all expressed gratitude towards this encouraging atmosphere and ultimately came away from the weekend with positive memories due to the efforts from the community.