It’s a game that has been played for the better part of the last three centuries, but for K-State students, badminton is almost a brand-new tradition.
The KSU Badminton Club was established in September 2008, and members have wasted little time getting involved in competition. They often compete in tournaments against other schools, as well as public tournaments hosted by local organizations.
Club president Cong Ye, junior in finance, has been a member of the club since it was established. The native of China said the idea for the organization came from a group of badminton players who used to meet at the Peters Recreation Complex to play every week.
“I was a badminton fan in China, so I looked for any badminton organization in K-State,” he said. “Finally, I heard that many people were playing badminton on Friday night in the Rec, and I just went for it and met the badminton player.”
Despite the fact the club has only been around for two years, Ye said the members have already established relationships with schools in the region.
“In early 2008, we participated in the KU Open at Lawrence and made a good friendship with the badminton players in KU,” Ye said. “In October of 2008 and 2009, we participated in the Ray Scott Memorial Tournament in Omaha, Neb., and we are still going to play it this semester.”
Other recent competitions for the club include the 2009 Sunflower State Games in Topeka, where K-State won three gold medals, and the 2009 Iowa State Badminton Open, where the Wildcats earned two more gold medals.
While the club, which currently has 30 members, has experienced some success in competition against other organizations, Ye said the practice schedule is not too taxing and caters to players of all skill levels.
“Currently, our club has three practice sessions,” he said. “Two are on Wednesday and Friday nights and one is on Sunday afternoons. We are having a training session for the beginners at 3:30 p.m. on every Sunday afternoon.”
The club is not comprised only of students, as 10 participants are faculty, staff or members of the Manhattan community. Ye added that the club is always looking for new members. More information is available on the club’s website, k-state.edu/ksubadminton.