My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog
Me during a match

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014 Argentina International

So Trinidad nationals had passed and I was feeling pretty good about myself getting 2nd place. I had also gotten past the injury in my right hip that was hampering me and my training. Everything was getting back on track and I was planning to attend the 2014 Peru International Challenge in Lima. Got signed up and everything but then the main and qualifying report came out and because of my world ranking wasn't high enough I was in the qualification round. I was only 3rd in the qualification and needed 2 people to withdraw for me to make it in but that was still a big risk so I got Trinidad to withdraw me from the tournament as to not risk going down there and having to try and qualify.

Because of that I needed to replace or try and replace all the points that I was going to lose from New Zealand Grand Prix and Tahiti International Challenge from the previous year as they were going to fall off. That was around 2850 world ranking points because I made quarterfinals in Tahiti and that also meant that my world ranking would drop a lot. So I had to find some tournaments to attend and hopefully do relatively well in. Looking at the BWF calendar I saw that there was 3 tournaments back to back in south America; Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. I didn't want to take 3 weeks to go away as that would have cost a lot and I was living in Vancouver at this time so 3 weeks away would have been quite a bit. With that in mind I choose to attend both Argentina and Venezuela internationals. They were International Series level tournaments but had a decently strong entry with many players from Brazil and Peru playing along with some of the top players in the Pan Am region in attendance and some European representation. 

So the June 10th came and it was time for me to fly down to Buenos Aries, Argentina and then off to Tindal where the tournament would be taking place. The funny thing is the same day that I was leaving the country was my graduation convocation at the University of Calgary; something that I would be missing but walking the stage was not of a primary concern to me. The flight down to South America was quite the journey and I ended up having to spend the night in Lima, Peru at a hostel then flying out to Buenos Aries in the morning. Upon arrival in Argentina I was to be picked up and then we were to be driven around 3 hours to a small town named Tandil where the tournament was taking place. Upon clearing customs I walked out into the airport and what do I see but a lot of other badminton players, players from Chile, Peru, and Mexico. Among them were some of my friends and I was wondering why they were still there only to find out they were waiting for the bus to come for hours. The bus finally came only it wasn’t so much of a bus as it was a small van that only had room for 6 people plus their luggage. Anybody who had to play qualification the next day was priority to go on the transport. This means that I had to wait; me and Lino from Mexico, 2 coaches, as well as one of the representatives from Pan Am Badminton were forced to wait in the airport. I arrived at 5:05pm and didn’t get onto the bus until after midnight, this time they sent us an actual bus a huge one for just the 5 of us. We got on and I passed out the drive took around 3 and a half house give or take. Finally around 4am on June 12th I arrived at the hotel and got into my room and passed out not to wake up till noon the following day. Quite the experience travelling down to Argentina for the tournament but this would only prove to be for foreshadowing of things to come for this tournament and for this trip altogether.

Breathtaking sights flying across South America
Where I would spend 7 hours waiting
Me and Lino, found an outlet to use. Thankfully there was free WiFi
Got this whole bus to ourselves just the 5 of us

Waking up the next day I realized that winter in South America wasn’t as tame or warm as I thought it would be and as well I didn’t pack appropriate clothing for that. Thankfully I brought some track jackets and a few long sleeve shirts so I would be layering up while there for sure. There wasn’t any opportunity to hit in the tournament venue before matches and the fact that it had been raining a ton for the past few days would not be advantageous for the tournament. So the morning of my match came, we all got into the bus and drove off to the venue while it was pouring rain. We were able to hit on the courts to warm up and that’s when it became apparent that this would not be pleasant. The courts were incredibly slippery and very unsafe to play on. All the rain had left so much moisture in the air that it would settle on the court and simply wiping the court did absolutely nothing. They brought in industrial heaters/dryers to try and dry the courts while sending us back to the hotel only to return later in the day and see if the mats were dry and safe enough to play on. Upon returning in the evening it was apparent that the tournament was in serious trouble as the mats were still slippery and there was little hope. The tournament organizers said that they would try and dry the mats more or find an alternative venue for the tournament for matches the next day in order to avoid cancelling the tournament.

What a beautiful a scene right out of silent hill
Main tournament venue, nice place but courts were to slippery
So much rain...
Everyone forced to wait for the bus back to the hotel after delay of play
Industrial heaters and paper to try and dry the courts, did nothing

The next day rolled around and at 6am we were ordered to get ready to depart for the new venue (I was one of the 1st matches to be played so had to go super early) we went to a new place which was simply not up to standards for where an international tournament should be held. It was an old place but the hardwood floors were not as slippery as the main venue. The downside it was 7am in the morning and you could see your breath inside the venue, it was freezing cold. So trying to warm up was a tough time. I played my match at 8am on taped out courts shivering between points trying to be warm and struggling to see and figure out the venue, its drafts, avoid lights, as there was no hitting just the 2 minutes that you got for your warm up before the match. Then the sun came out and there were wonderful windows which let the sun shine through and onto the courts below. The whole thing just seemed like a disaster beyond belief and I couldn't believe I traveled all this way and spent that money to play this tournament. I lost first round to one of the seeded players and friend from Mexico Lino.

6am in the morning at the new makeshift venue...
Tournament back underway in the new location...
So that was the entire tournament for me, playing my match 8am in the morning when the temperature was -1 degrees Celsius in the arena. I had a few more days in Argentina before I would fly out to Venezuela for the tournament there. That meant that I would do some sightseeing around the small town of Tandil. It was pretty much a countryside town not terribly large but had lots of parks and sights to see. One such sight was a peak with a lookout above the city that provided an amazing view of the whole town from atop the mountain so that was on my list to see. I waited until there was a relatively sunny day (mind you it was still very cold) and headed up the hill to check out the view from Castillo Morisco. It was amazing you could see the entire city and it was such a fantastic sight. Likewise right across from my hotel was independence square/plaza with a water fountain and giant statue with government buildings and a church on the opposite side. The last attraction that I went to see was a giant dam that was located a decent walk away on the outskirts of the town. The weather cooperated for the most part the last few days of the trip but it was still very cold in general and at night I would have the heater on in the room. On the flip side the world cup of football was on while I was in south America so every night there was a match all the players from the tournament would gather downstairs and we would all watch the match that was being played. Or if I was out eating dinner all the local restaurants would have the TVs tuned into the world cup especially when Argentina was playing a match.

Watching World Cup football at the hotel 
view from Castillo Morisco
view from Castillo Morisco
Castillo Morisco
Me up at Castillo Morisco
Independence Plaza at night, right across the street from my hotel

Overall the tournament was a learning experience and I was happy to be leaving the country soon and onto Venezuela where I would hope that the tournament would be organized better (in reality it wouldn't be any better at all, it would be worse). But first I had to leave the hotel and drive 3 hours back to Buenos Aries in order to catch my flight. Mostly everyone left the day before but I left a day later meaning that it was just 3 of us flying out so we had a private car with a driver that reminded me of Jason Statham’s character from the transporter movies. All went well with that and before you know it I was in the air flying back to Peru to catch my connecting flight to Caracas, Venezuela. The only hitch in the plan was that I would have about 12 hours between my flight landing in Lima and then leaving so I would have to spend the night in the airport. I ended up sleeping in the lounge as it was open 24 hours, it says that there is a 3 hour maximum stay in there but well I ended up eating dinner, sleeping waking up and eating breakfast then went to catch my flight. Onward to Caracas, Venezuela for the international there and something that hasn't happened much traveling with other Trinidad players. There were 3 others who were attending the tournament as well with me which would be fantastic. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Trinidad and Tobago National Championships

All the winners, runners up, and semifinalists at nationals
So the time came for the Trinidad and Tobago national championships to take place, April 22-27th 2014. Of course I flew down to Trinidad to play in them. I had been in Richmond, Vancouver for almost 2 months at that point training hard so I was prepared to make a statement at nationals. This time I arrived in the country early so that I would have time to train and get use to the conditions as they are very very different that playing anywhere in Canada both shuttle speed and just facility wise too. The practice that we god before nationals was good and got to hit in the actual tournament venue a few times which was nice as it made me get more accustomed with things.

CRISTAR - Nationals venue and my clubs home

I have lots of supporters back home from fellow club mates, training partners, friends, relatives, and fans that were all excited to see me play in nationals. The previous year due to some unfortunate luck in the making of the draw I was put up against the winner of the tournament first round. This time he (Kerwin Pantin) was seeded 2nd in the tournament and I was on the top half with the 1st seed, he would be my 2nd round match. So with all the practice done the time came around for matches to start on Tuesday April 22nd in the night. They played 2 rounds that night and I was lucky enough to get the 1st round to warm up it was a fairly easy game but I took the time to get accustomed with things. The 1st seed didn’t have a first round as he had a bye, so I would be his first round match. So the time came that I would play Allister the first seed and everybody was paying attention to that match it seemed. It was a 3 game match and he played very well but in the end I came out on top and acquired a lot of new supporters because of it.

Giving a TV interview before the awards ceremony
I don’t live in Trinidad, I was born and raised Canadian but my mom was born and grew up in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to Canada. So through her I got my Trinidadian citizenship which allows me to compete for them internationally. Because of this I am not in the country much and just come home for nationals or the odd vacation. This means that the badminton players down there that are not from my club never really get to see me and my abilities until the championships roll around each year. This lead to quite the interesting newspaper headlines for me during the tournament, with each round that I progressed the titles got more and more interesting. I made it all the way to the singles final with some interesting matches on the way there. I went 3 games with the rest of my opponents as well not being able to adjust as quickly to the conditions. Overall things were good though and the players were quite fun to play against. In the semi-final match I played against my fellow club mate who was 2 points away from match point but I came back and won 5 points in a row to close out the game and take the match securing my spot in the finals.

Links to some of the online articles about me (they were also published in the local papers):

I got a day to rest in-between the semifinals and the finals which would take place the Sunday night. I rested up as playing on the courts down there had taken a toll on my body and various parts of me were starting to hurt and be beyond sore. The day of rest did some good though I was able to go out to the zoo with one of my best friends and we had a great day together. That was something that I really needed to keep me grounded and not stressed/anxious. So finals came around and it was in classic finals style. One court, line judges, the full package. The news was there and some VIP’s were also in attendance from sponsors to past players, etc all there to watch the finals. This was not the first tournament final I have been in but this wasn’t just another provincial tournament in Alberta this was my countries nationals. Something that I wanted to win badly but also left me feeling nervous. I was up against the 2nd seed Kerwin Pantin who had 6 national titles in singles behind him already. Last year the scores were decently close and this year things started off with a bang 1st game I lost 19-21 and then it all went downhill from there. My body didn’t like me anymore didn’t want to cooperate with me at all, my mental fall apart and with it so did my game plan. fast forward I actually ended up messing up my inner hip and required about 3 weeks of recovery and rehab to fix it upon returning home. The 2nd set wasn’t a pretty sight and it was pretty much just self-destruction that occurred and got the better of me. Kerwin played fantastic and did what he does, that’s the reason he is the national champion. So once again I had lost to him and would be the runner up at the 2014 Trinidad and Tobago National Championships.

Receiving my prize money and medal 
Mens singles (left to right): Semifinalists, Runner up (Me), Winner
My medal and winnings

That would mark the end of the nationals, I did play doubles and mixed but those unfortunately didn’t turn out as well. I made quarterfinals for both of those events eventually losing to the 1st seeds. The experience was a great one and I am happy that I flew down to Trinidad and played in the championships. I had a great performance and would hope that it would have been enough to warrant my selection onto the commonwealth games team. The event would be happening the end of August in Glasgow, Scotland and was one of the things that I had been training hard for the past 4 years. Commonwealth is a mini Olympics for the Commonwealth countries and therefore something amazing to be able to attend. Flash forward a few months Trinidad unfortunately much to our demise did not send a badminton team to the Commonwealth games. I was heartbroken and most of the other players from Trinidad were also feeling the pain of not getting to go either.

Farewell and victory dinner with my club mates

That was the end of my trip to Trinidad though, short and sweet I really didn’t get to do much else other than see the zoo and hang out a lot with Shannon. Because I made it so far in the tournament I was unable to make a trip to the beach which I am so sad about. The last time I was on the beach and swam in the ocean was May 2013 in Tahiti, French Polynesia while I was there for a tournament. I packed things up and got ready to head back home, but first I would be making a quick stop (3 days) in Calgary before going back to Vancouver and back to training to prepare for upcoming international tournaments; Argentina International and Venezuela International. 

Zoo with Shannon
Shannon, me, and the giraffes 

Saturday, July 26, 2014


So the time had some I finally would be finishing my career as a university student. The end of 2013 saw me finish my final courses needed to obtain my university degrees at the University of Calgary. Almost 6 years in school and I would be walking away with 3 bachelor’s degrees to my name. The journey started right after I graduated high school, I had recently discovered badminton and wanted to pursue it and see what it was all about. This led me to attend Mount Royal College (it was a college at the time) because they had a badminton team. I had not been training or even playing long but knew this is what I wanted to do. That being said studies wise I knew even less about what I wanted to be and choose to go into Computer science, but it was a university transfer program as MRC did not offer university degrees at the time. I had dreams of finishing the 2 year transfer program and then move to another city to finish schooling. Yeah that all fell through and after a semester in computer science I realized that was not the field that I wanted to work in long term. I switched programs and moved into the Kinesiology university transfer then known as the physical education program. Finishing first semester I preceded to take 10 months off from school to move down to Trinidad for 6 of those months when I first started to compete internationally for the country. Unsure if/when I would return to Canada for school. That time came after Christmas when I returned and continued where I had left off at the college in my Kinesiology program. Continuing to play on the badminton team and enjoying the whole experience; times would soon change though. The college was turning into a university, it would not offer university degrees in my field right away though as that would take some time.  So after doing a bit of my degree I took some time off and then went to Trinidad for 6 months, that is when I first started to play badminton internationally for the country. I then took some more time off to travel and train.

MRC Badminton Team Picture
MRU Badminton Team Picture
Upon returning to Canada I finished a half a semester at MRU (it was now a university) and then would head over to University of Calgary (UofC) in the fall semester. When I transferred some stuff happened to my courses and I was unable to directly transfer into a Kinesiology specific program as I had one grade that was a letter grade to low but that’s another story. So upon going to UofC I still had scholarship money left so didn't waste it and decided to do another degree but why do 1 when I could do 2. So I ended up enrolling and doing 2 degrees at once, a geography degree and a communications and culture degree. On top of that I still hadn't finished my Kinesiology degree so I would also be taking some classes to also finish that up too. The interesting part was that in this time I would also start competing for Trinidad full time so I needed to manage school, training, and traveling to tournaments. This would prove more difficult in my final year of studies.

Time passed and I continued to knock out my core courses one by one, taking on average 3-4 courses a semester and when I wasn't traveling to China in the summer then I would take spring and/or summer courses. There seemed like an ever growing list of cores that I needed to complete. As I would complete one then another one would seem to appear out of nowhere. But slowly and surely I knocked them out one by one. With a lot of travel happening as I started to compete more and meant missing more school as well as exams and assignments. My professors in the geography department knew me well as the athlete who traveled and they were all ok with it because I would be able to link the concepts in class to where I went. That and I would always take pictures for them of relevant stuff in the country that I was traveling to relating to the course content so they could use it in their presentations.

My time at the University of Calgary started to come to an end as I was finishing up my courses. In my final year in 2013 all I needed was 10 option courses to complete the rest of my needed credits to graduate. That was what felt like the biggest waste of time because I had already done all my cores and now I just had to take random classes to get my degree, I felt like wasting money but at the same time it allowed me to take some interesting courses I may have never had the opportunity to otherwise. I took film courses (the horror movie, the melodrama, French film), I took “the history of video games” and an art class all about gardens. But I had already used all my available 200 level course and one of the requirements for me degree was that I needed some 300, 400, and 500 level classes. Usually those all require prerequisites which I did not want to have to take more courses to take an option course. The most interesting experience was 1st semester 2013 I took 2 500 level research class’s and for one it was essentially a graduate thesis project that was to be done and presented at the end of the semester. The only problem was that I was heading to New Zealand and Tahiti for almost 3 weeks to compete in tournaments.  So long story short I stayed in a fancy hotel the 1st night in Tahiti and did my part of the presentation via video conference with the beautiful beach and water in the background (at this point there was still snow on the ground in Calgary) so let’s just say a lot of students and teachers who attended the presentation didn't like me too much. Along with that I also wrote 2 finals via the internet during that same night staying in the fancy hotel because I needed a stable and good internet connection. That is probably my fondest and funniest memory from school while traveling.

The resort I stayed at and the backdrop I used during video presentation
2013 summer I also didn't go to Asia to train meaning I took a full course load in both spring and summer. Finally the home stretch the last semester of my undergraduate career had come. I would be attending 2 tournaments both opposite sides of the world and to be honest more emphasis was set on those than actually focusing on school. Not that doing good wasn't a priority it just kind of took the back burner during the tournaments. I attended classes and flew out to Brazil and Macau for a week each. I always felt guilty about traveling when I was working in a group and just had to take off because I felt like I was placing unnecessary worry on the group even though I would always make sure the get my work done and submit it to them by the deadlines.

Then December 2014 rolled around, it had come the last set of finals that I would write. The last time I would grace the University of Calgary halls as a student. It was a feeling that I did not know how to embrace in all honesty. I was a student for so long that it had always just been a part of who I was, a way of life when I wasn't busy being an athlete. But now that was all coming to an end, my student career was going to have its lights shut off. I felt a little more than sad to know that I would be done and wouldn't have to attend classes, study for exams, and write papers anymore. But at the same time it was a nice feeling knowing that I was done and that I had accomplished getting my degrees. I would not get to walk the stage to receive my degree, not that I had any particular desire to sit there for hours while they go through the names waiting for my 20 seconds in the spotlight. I would instead be flying to Argentina the day of my convocation so even if I wanted to attend I simply wouldn't have been able to. And thus ended a chapter that had been ongoing for the greater part of my life, my time as a student in school had come and gone. I accomplished what I needed to and learned a lot, I will always be a student for life in the real world continually learning but as for studying at a learning institution I have graduated. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

2013 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold

So I had returned from Brazil and the next tournament was already selected, Macau Open GPG would be the next and likely last trip for the year. Sujay wanted to play doubles together so we were going to do that, last minute he wasn't sure if he would be able to attend though. Through all the chaos and uncertainty he ended up being able to go but in the intermediate stage I had invited somebody else to accompany me in order to keep the hotel cost down. So this meant that we would be sharing a room and Sujay would be on his own. The day came and it was going to be a long journey but one that I have flown at least 12+ times already. Flying Calgary to Hong Kong and then would have to catch the ferry from Hong Kong to Macau. All in all it was only about 18 hours of traveling which wasn't too bad. This time I would have some wonderful travel company so that was something new minus traveling with Jason in the summer.

The flight to Hong Kong was rather smooth until we approached Hong Kong and were put into a holding pattern due to weather. Eventually we landed and couldn't cut it any closer with just making in time to get our luggage onto the ferry. Once the time came we boarded the high speed ferry which zipped over the darkened bay on route to Macau. Like a scene out of a movie the Las Vegas of Asia grew from a single point of light into a multidimensional city with flashing lights and bright buildings. The waterfront view was amazing and at the same time a welcoming sight that we were finally at our destination. The tournament representative picked us up and drove us to the tournament venue for some odd reason but it was nice to check out the stadium where I would be competing. It was well put together but preparations were not finished at that point. After a short discussion they took us to our hotel, the hotel was quite grand. Nothing compared to the giant casino hotels mind you but still impressive in its own regards. Sujay got in the following morning and we arranged to go have a practice session on the main courts of the hall.

Under the bridge to the Macau ferry terminal
View from the hotel room
After a solid practice session things were looking good, had another day to kill before I would have to play my match against my Malaysian opponent in the main draw. But first before that would happen there was a big event to attend to. The opening ceremony and dinner for the 2013 Macau Open Grand Prig Gold. It was being held at the MGM Grand casino in one of the ball rooms, all the players were in attendance along with some special guests. We boarded the bus and drove off to the MGM where we were greeted with a gigantic ballroom with tables upon tables upon tables. The dinner itself was a 10 course affair. The food just kept on coming as delicious as each dish was evoking unique tastes and building upon the last. The highlight of the night for me at least was the fact that Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat were in attendance, while they were not playing in the tournament they were there for publicity reasons. I was fortunate enough to get a picture with each of them and exchange a few words when they each asked where Trinidad and Tobago was and other things. It was a legitimate fan girl moment if anything describes it, of course I didn't show it on the outside but on the inside I was happy and was a dream to meet them. Dinner came to an end and we retreated back to our hotels in order to prepare for the start of the tournament the following day.

First round matches came along and I was up against Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin of Malaysia, it was going to be a tough one. I went in there and did my thing playing to my abilities but in the end he was simply a caliber above me and nothing really threatened him. It was a big sign that I needed to change a lot in order to threaten and compete with the big boys. In the past two tournaments (Sao Paolo International and this Macau GPG) I was knocked out by players who were in the top 50 in the world. The thing is that when playing them I couldn't put as much pressure on them as they could on me and when I was able to put pressure on them I couldn't compound it and finish the points. The experience overall was a good one to see what I was lacking. Me and Sujay also played doubles together and had to qualify for the tournament as we didn't have a world ranking. We played against a pair from Hong Kong and for our first time playing together things turned out pretty well actually. Although we lost the match it was a fun time and we may play together in the future who knows.

After the tournament was done there was some time to sight see around Macau. The day after me and Sujay were knocked out of singles we went to one of the stadiums that was built for the Asian games when it was held in Macau. It was massive just beyond the size of anything in Calgary or to stadiums in North America with the exception of some of the Olympic stadiums. That was a good session and got to see the Malaysian team along with Lee Chong Wei practice. 

After that it was time to go sight see, first up on the list were the ruins of St. Paul’s cathedral which proved rather elusive for us to find. After thinking that we were on the right path and following signs we ended up at a fort overlooking the city. The view was amazing and the fact that it was already night meant that the city was already lit up and the hustle of thousands of people was in full swing. So after taking some pictures from up there we ended up spotting the ruins in the distance all lit up and not too far from where we were. The hard part was finding a route to get there through the winding and narrow streets. We went one way but it ended up leading us right in a circle so we tried the “back way” which with all the luck led us right to the ruins. From the ruins it led us back to Seanado square which is a giant shopping and open area in the heart of Macau. This being November meant that yes there were already Christmas decorations set up and the place was feeling and looking like Christmas.

The following day we had to leave Macau back to Hong Kong to spend the night there and then catch our flight back to Calgary the following day. So morning came we did our final preparations and ate the last meal in Macau not to mention all had a farewell drink in the hotel lounge before leaving to the ferry terminal. Boarded the ferry and set off on the voyage back but there was some rough waters and a little bit of delays. We arrived and headed off to the airport hotel just for convenience sake so that we wouldn't have to travel early the next day to catch our flight. Once checked in and all fueled up the trek down to the harbor to see the lights started. It didn't take long and was a nice bus ride there. Thankfully it wasn't too cold outside but still warranted needing a light jacket, compared to Canada where there was snow on the ground. The harbor lights were great as always and drew in a huge crowd not to one’s surprise. After spending some time there and taking in the sights we walked around a bit and enjoyed the sights then proceeded to catch our bus back to the hotel for the night. Once back the rest of the night consisted of me finishing off school assignments as it would be my final semester and I had already taken time off the month before to go to Brazil for a tournament.

The day of departure came quick and once again we were in the airport catching our flight. After checking in the usual activities occurred and headed off to the lounge to relax and eat. Jivanya hadn't spent much time in the lounges at airports that are available for the elite travelers so this was a fun experience for her and she took full advantage of it enjoying all the amenities available. We stayed in the lounge the whole time and then only headed out to the gate a little before boarding checking through a few shops before that. The flight heading back to Canada was rather full and while heading to Hong Kong we had a row of 3 seats all to ourselves this time somebody else was also in the row with us. After boarding the flight I pretty much passed out only waking up to eat for the first half of the flight, while watching movies for the second half.

Overall it was a learning experience, playing players in the top 50 makes me realize how big of a gap there is. Even playing players in the top 100 or 200 the difference in their skill and strategic play is very noticeable. Macau would be my last international for the year but I didn't know it at the time. I was going to try and fit one more into the schedule and that would have been the Puerto Rico international but stupid me I didn't sign up and it ended up being a great tournament to attend points wise. With that being said this was my last semester of university I had finished all my core courses and was just taking options to finish off my degree. Heading back to Canada the end of November from Asia meant that finals were coming up soon and I would need to study for those as well as finish projects that I had missed and assignments that were due. I would be looking forward to graduating and finally being done with school to pursue work and badminton as full time now.