69th National Badminton Championships!

First Badminton Nationals

Game 1 (pictured above)

On the 21st of December 2021, I got a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in a badminton tournament. But not just any tournament… THE INNAUGURAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS in Sri Lanka!! I had been playing badminton ever since I was a child, around 5 or 6 years old. I played consistently till I was in the fourth grade where I was advised not to continue it since I had picked up tennis and my coach said that badminton was interfering with my technique because I had learned to be very mobile from the wrist by playing badminton.

Many, many years later, having only continued the game in passing by either playing against cousins or friends in the odd friendly, I picked it up again in the 10th grade. I trained both in and outside of school in SAISA and a weekend endeavor to get into form. Unfortunately, SAISA got cancelled just as I had gotten selected for the team due to Covid, but I consistently continued my classes till lockdown was imposed. Thereafter training sessions weren’t as easy to come by because the courts remained shut and the classes were discontinued undecidedly. So after nearly 2 years of not playing badminton I decided to give it another shot. Again, my involvement had been a bit on and off because of the pandemic situation, so you can only imagine my surprise when I got told that I have been selected to play in the championships on a call with my mom!

Now don’t get me wrong, I was equal parts delighted and terrified because not only was this on very short notice, but I hadn’t played in around a year. My fitness was also decidedly not at its peak because my other involvements in sports were much smaller because of the lack of training sessions provided. So you can only imagine the expression on my face when I was told ‘oh its in a week, and you have one training session to prepare!’ WHAT?!! Oh, and just as conveniently, my little brother was selected too, but he had been practicing a little more regularly because his age group trained earlier on in the season.

My first and final training session began the weekend before the championship. It was stressful to say the least, there were at least 10 kids there (none from my age group) that were practicing away as if their life depended on it. Keeping in mind, that badminton wasn’t my best sport, those kids practiced nearly religiously and it was rather intimidating to watch knowing that my competition would be just as intense if not tougher to face. I ran the drills, played nearly 4 games and had to re-learn the rules of the game, ON TOP OF learning the tournament procedures and additional rules. I was little bit overwhelmed with the new information but I kept a fresh mindset. I wasn’t as practiced as the others, but this is great exposure and I was going to try my best but not come away disappointed.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Game day rolled around and I headed to the arena. It was massive to say the least with around 8 courts in the center surrounded by seating areas for the fans. The nerves were creeping up on me again but my mom asserted me and reminded me to stay calm. The games were running late and mine got delayed by a full 5 hours! It was difficult staying patient because I had limited battery on my device left meaning I couldn’t even listen to music to kill the time. When the time came, I headed onto the court to play 3 games. I won the first match, tied and won the tie-breaker set in the second and lost my last match against a really good opponent. My first two games were nail bitingly close and I would admit that my last opponent was rather well clear of me. Best of all I wasn’t disappointed as I headed off the pitch, I had tried exceedingly hard and even played with a broken sole on one of my shoes! Given the circumstances I felt super proud of myself and I could call myself a national badminton player! This would also most likely be my last chance to have done that seeing as I’ll be in university this time next year. But it truly was a phenomenal experience and I also have a huge thank you to say that regard to my friends who cheered me on and checked on me consistently throughout the day :))

My unofficial cheer squad



Easing Into Normalcy – Sports Edition


During the past 2 lockdowns, I have had limited access to resources that enable me to do two things I love to do; to travel and to be active. Unfortunately as a result of the pandemic many people including myself were limited to the confines of our houses with travel restrictions, lack of access to sporting facilities and training opportunities etc. As someone who likes to be kept on their feet all the time, the withdrawal of playing my favorite sports or even not being able to travel hasn’t exactly been my definition of smooth sailing; but thankfully, the provision of vaccinations has made it possible for me to slowly ease my way back into most of my favorite activities.


As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, football restarted and as did badminton only this week. This was exciting primarily because it’s been a while since I was allowed to go back into the courts since we trained in closed spaces with fairly large numbers.

A few things have changed however, in regards to how our sessions operate, though I can’t complain because it’s all being done in an effort to prioritize our health. For example, as opposed to group classes with a large number of students, my brother and I were given the option of private lessons, that is till it becomes safe for more people to be in close proximity again. Although the downside is that I won’t be able to compete at the moment with players who are at my level, I get more one to one time with my coach to perfect things like technique and focus more on fitness, similar to what I have been doing recently in football practice.

Primarily our lesson this week consisted of agility training, quite a bit of cardio, and a 6 shuttle drill where you place them on 6 parts of the court and sprint to collect them before your opponent. As for personal areas for development I was told that I could work on my serving which I’m sure I can get down in no time, it usually takes some time to know where to make contact, positioning and stance etc.  I practiced clearing shots from my coach as well and he was quite happy with my work although I missed two shots because of bad reaction time.

Overall, I’m really excited to get back into shape and hopefully I’ll be able to play some actual matches soon in order to be fully prepared by the time next SAISA season rolls by!

Video From Training: Clearing Drill




Another thing I was able to accomplish this month was learning how to surf :))

I had been wanting to go surfing for the longest time since I was young, and even more so now that  it was one of the only water sports that I hadn’t really tried out except for kitesurfing and water skiing. So  being given the ability to travel after not being able to go to the beach for a very long time was the perfect opportunity for me to go catch a much needed serotonin boost at beach on the long weekend.

My experience with surfing began as we headed down to the Marriott at Weligama Bay for a little vacation after our trip to Hiriketiya for my beach cleanup.

After taking some much needed rest, we decided to wake up at the break of dawn to have some breakfast and then head down to a sparsely crowded beach at around 6 am. There, both my brother and I got introduced to our guides and we had land training where they taught us how to position ourselves on a board, how to catch a wave how to stand up and where to jump off before we reached the shore. My little brother, Dimitri, admittedly picked it up faster than I did because he had gone surfing before.

When we had gotten the technique down and tried it out in the shallow water, our guides took us over to the point where the waves form, for the first couple tries they would hold onto the board and give us a cue to push off and stand up.

Much to the amusement of my onlooking mother, my form was a little wobbly at the start and I had to do a lot of not so smooth looking jerky arm movements to retain my balance, but I swear that I eventually got the hang of it!  It was a fun yet exhausting 4 hours, having to paddle all the way back to the wave point each time, and I even once forgot to jump off before it got too shallow and ended up getting a nasty cut on my knee, but it was time really well spent. I can safely say that I am no pro at surfing but I very much look towards learning how to a become better surfer thankfully I got good enough to move to a more challenging part of the beach which made my experience that much more exciting. Hopefully though,  the next time around I’ll be able to catch some of the bigger waves and stay on with minimal struggle, because after seeing the older surfers on the beach I was a tad star struck, especially by this girl my parents pointed out to me who was maybe my age or a little older taking on some GIANT waves with ease and doing all these really cool flips on her board; which I have a gut feeling that it took way more than two tries to learn to do something of that caliber because it was so well executed.

Intro Session to Surfing ^

First try: 



Another sport that caught my interest a while ago was biking, you might remember a post I made a few months ago on my time biking at Ullagala, well, thankfully, I’ve been able to do it much more frequently thanks to getting my own bike fixed. After getting back and getting it serviced, I’ve been using it quite frequently, in fact, it’s a pretty neat commute to all the nearest stores and this gorgeous lake / paddy field areas right next to my house! The roads close to home are fairly safe to travel on and are arguably well paved so I get the opportunity to take nice bike rides in the evening or even very early in the morning which is a nice change from the exercise bike that I had been using all lockdown long.

When we were on holiday, it was pretty amazing since even that resort had a bike service and all we had to do is ride it and return it before we left. Now, the views weren’t quite as nice as at Ulagalla but the track was seemingly a bit longer and had more routes to take which was great. It was extra fun this time around because all my friends who came on the trip had a lot of fun with it, playfully racing each other to the end or even trying to do cool tricks like riding with no hands on the handles. (We came away without so much as a scratch much to everyone’s relief!)

It’s been great so far being able to cycle around at different times of the day because it has an incredibly laid back nature to it especially when I’ve gotten a pair of headphones on and am just trying to take in the scenery by myself and of course, this goes without saying that it’s improving my general fitness and my lower body strength in particular :))

biking! ^


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