Only in its second year of operation, the Badminton Club has become one of the campuss most successful athletic clubs with over 150 members. Things, however, were not always rosy for the club. Their rise to prominence at UTM was a difficult and strenuous process.
For example, their rookie campaign as a club in 2008 did not meet club president Siew Ching Yeos expectations.
Last year was lacklustre due to our lack of foresight to apply for more funding, said Yeo. On top of that, we charged members a very low fee, which couldnt even cover renting the gym for one session.
Although other factors could have explained the mediocrity, Yeo believed that her lack of experience and preparation as club president was the main contributor to the clubs sub par performance.
We didnt know that booking gyms were that expensive nor were we aware that the club was required to pay for such things, said Yeo. For a club that thrives on the bimonthly use of the gyms, it was mighty expensive to run such meet-ups for members. As such, our first year had a disappointing number of events.
Rather than lose her motivation and desire to continue, Yeo considered the first year as a learning process and something to build upon for the upcoming school year. After a summer of heavy planning and preparation, Yeo developed an efficient game plan she believed would solve the clubs problems. As a result, she was more than ready to launch the 09/10 edition of the Badminton Club.
Learning from our lessons last year, we increased our membership fees slightly to cover the cost of renting the gym for our members. We have tried to keep it low because we are students, after all, and cant afford to spend so much, said Yeo.
Although the slight increase of membership fees appears to be the key to their success, some credit should be given to UTMSU. Yeo hopes to maintain her relationship with the student-based organization and to attract the attention of UTMAC in order to continue progressing as a club.
Although the sum we have collected this year will last us for one or two more sessions, we are still grateful that the UTMSU has been supporting us financially since last year for our events. We certainly hope to work with UTMSU and UTMAC this year to provide and expand on more opportunities for our students in the realm of badminton, said Yeo.
After a successful first orientation, Yeo was anxious about the clubs first upcoming meet-up session of the year and excited at the opportunity to see her members gather in full strength and play for the first time. Members should also expect to participate in many new and exciting events on campus.
Not only does Yeo want to entertain the clubs members, but she also hopes to take the next step as a club and step outside the realm of its duties.
The club is currently in talks with the RAWC to organize campus-wide Rec Tournaments for badminton. It is also in talks with UTMAC to have some influence on the badminton tournament that UTMAC is hosting.
With the help of volunteers, the club hopes to organize a second tournament to raise funds for charity. Moreover, it intends to host a separate badminton session with Best Buddies, which pairs volunteers with intellectually disabled students.
As long as students can bring their own racquet, they will find that club offers much fun and excitement. Most importantly, members are not expected to be at a top professional level when they join the club. Anyone of any playing level can join.
Interested members are welcomed to join the Badminton Club for their events. Questions and inquires can directed at [email protected]
The fee for the whole year is $5.