Last Tuesday evening, the members of Drake University Badminton Club came to the Bell Center to meet, greet and play badminton. After setting up the courts, some played for fun, while others trained with their dedicated trainers. They have meetings like this on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week.
There are twenty-six members in DU-BAD. Most of the early members knew about the club on Activities Fair at Olmsted Center and registered there. New people that wanted to join would be recruited through their Facebook group, Drake University Badminton Club (DU-BAD).
The club was founded by Ili Athirah and Mohammad Nor Abdul Rahman on Spring 2016. Athirah was the president and then graduated on that semester, leaving Abdul Rahman to be the next one.
Abdul Rahman said that he and Ili initiated the club when he saw that there are passionate badminton players among Americans, but they did not have a platform to practice.
“Since we know the rules and techniques needed, we started this club to teach them how to properly play badminton,” Abdul Rahman said. “We want to promote badminton, and promote Malaysia at the same time. Badminton is our national sport. Badminton is our American Football. We have achieved a lot in this sport, and Lee Chong Wei is the world number one in men’s singles. He is our icon and pride.”
Each member has to pay a club fee of five dollars every semester. The money will be used to buy new birdies as they are quickly torn after intensive uses. The fee will increase next semester to buy new club rackets.
“We really need club rackets,” Abdul Rahman said. “All of the rackets here belong to their individual owners. We cannot afford to buy them new ones if they were broken. These rackets are expensive.”
Su Khim See chuckled when she heard him saying that.
“Someone broke my racket the other day,” See said.
See is the vice president of DU-BAD and play a role as one of the main trainers during practices. She played badminton since high school and won in various tournaments throughout the years.
For beginners, See taught them basic techniques such as serving, receiving, smashing and even how to hold a racket properly. She demonstrated them, and the members followed. After a few practices, a friendly match was done and everyone cheered for their desired champions.
“I enjoy badminton,” said Rory Scanlon, a first-year in pre-pharmacy who joined the club when he saw it at the Activities Fair. “I have never seen these people before. It is fun, and everyone seems to enjoy playing and doesn’t care who you are or where you are from.”