Angela Chen represented Canada in the Junior Pan-American Badminton Championship in 2016 and finished in second place in girl’s doubles. From then to now, Chen has participated in several provincial and national tournaments and is also a part of UW’s women’s badminton team.
The sport has helped Chen develop a positive mindset and understand the importance of teamwork.
“Sometimes, when you’re competing, you feel down and tend to look at things negatively so it’s really nice when you have a really supportive team behind you to cheer you on and help you change your mindset to be more positive,” Chen said. “Also, whether it’s with school or work, just trying to stay positive no matter what’s being thrown at you helps you keep going.”
Chen grew up playing many sports before settling on badminton.
“My parents kind of threw me into everything just so I could have a wide range of skills and everything, but then over the years, I started slowly dropping everything because I started liking badminton a lot, to the point where I ended up keeping badminton as the only sport,” Chen said.
Chen feels that while the current season is different, there’s a key sense of familiarity that accompanies the return to in-person training.
“Training has been a bit different because of the lockdowns. We were preparing for the OUA Championship when the January lockdown happened, but luckily we had really diligent coaches who gave us training plans to stay in shape at home,” Chen said. “It’s familiar because it’s nice to be back. We were on pause last year but we’re back this year and we’re training probably harder than ever because of our new coaches.”
Training for this season has been refreshing.
“It is very exciting to be with the team and the atmosphere is amazing. Everyone in court is going through the same adrenaline, passion, and struggles, which make the training sessions very revitalizing. It has been really fun,” Chen said.
Although the lockdowns posed some challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped Chen as classes and co-op interviews are conducted online, giving her more flexibility for her athletics.
“Earlier, it was a little hard to juggle between training and since I’m in the co-op program as well, I was always scheduling interviews and attending classes. It was difficult because things would overlap,” Chen said. “Now with pre-recorded lectures and online interviews, I find it easier to make it to practice.”
Overall, playing badminton and being a student-athlete has taught Chen how to manage her time well.
“With university and being in the co-op program, I realized the importance of good habits. Tasks become easier when we stop looking at them as tasks and make them something we’re used to, like a habit in our everyday lives,” she said.