The Girls’ Varsity Badminton Team Makes a Comeback

How the Girls’ Varsity Badminton team has been conducting practices and competing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Lara Belton

Huong Doan ’24 practices her serve during a Girls’ Varsity Badminton practice.

Sports just started opening up again for Bronx Science students this past April 2021 as the Coronavirus pandemic slowly lessens in New York City given the widespread vaccination of its citizens. Many students have been eagerly awaiting for the moment they could play their favorite sports once more, and it is finally here!

Unlike outdoor sports, indoor sports have been much harder to participate in during the pandemic because of the limited space inside the Bronx Science gym. However, the rules of badminton naturally align with social distancing regulations, as the sport is played in a big court with either single or double players. This makes badminton the perfect sport to play during the pandemic.

Thankfully, with the help of dedicated team members, the Bronx Science Girls’ Badminton Team has been able to make a comeback this year after a very short season the year before.

Much to many students’ dismay, the season was cut short again this year (a decision made solely by the Public Schools Athletic League or PSAL for short), but many students still faithfully tried out for the team. After all, badminton is a fan favorite at Bronx Science. 

One newly admitted student, Emily Bu ’23, first tried out when she was a ninth grader, but unfortunately, she was not able to make the cut that year. However, Bu told herself, “Give me a year, and I’ll practice my way into the team.” True to her word, Bu was able to successfully ‘practice her way in,’ and is now able to manage schoolwork and commuting to attend practice during the week.   

Other students joined the team in order to achieve future goals. For instance, first year student Zihan Wang ’24 said that she joined the team to “hone [her] skills enough to compete sometime in the future.” 

Some students have to commute long hours from their home to school in order to attend badminton practice. As a returning member, Claire Jiang ’22 said, “It’s tough to travel back and forth during the Coronavirus pandemic.” In order to save time and be safe, Jiang drives to school with her mother, completing assignments and catching up with her mom on the way. Other students carpool with fellow members to attend practice safely and efficiently. 

With limited time, the team has lots to do during practice to prepare for tournaments. According to the 2020-2021 team captain Lara Belton ’21, during practice, the team does “a mixture of footwork drills, practicing different movements, and scrimmaging with each other.” In addition, Coach Maraj provides the team with lots of feedback throughout practices and games. 

Newly admitted members are actually starting to see a difference in their skill after lots of practice. “Seeing myself improving gives me encouragement to work even harder, knowing that I can see the results that I want,” says Huong Doan ’24.

“Give me a year, and I’ll practice my way into the team,” said Emily Bu ’23.

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