Badminton team looking to repeat past successes

Keysha Watson


Nyl Yakura, reputed as a star for Humber’s varsity badminton team, earned his accolades during last week’s tryouts for the team.
The Pickering native never stopped during the hour-long tryout Sept. 15 at Humber’s North campus. And he is literally the team’s poster child — his face graces the team’s posters peppered throughout the college urging fellow students to try out for the team.
“This tryout experience has been interesting. They only have two tryouts, so you only get two chances,” said Yakura.
“We are looking for someone that displays physical fitness and are able to jump high,” said Humber badminton head coach Ray Wong.
Primarily the focus is on skill level, he said.
It is essential among prospective badminton players to have concentration, speed and balance, said Wong.
With the mixture of new and returning players at the tryouts, diverse techniques are clearly exemplified. However, with practice and training, the chosen players will be able to collaborate as a team.
“We want to try to maintain (the high level the team has gained) and push them hard,” said Wong.
Wong said the overall goal of the team this season is to focus on training the players and winning the National Championship.
The number of tryouts this year was at best sparse. But the coaching staff isn’t worried about the less than 10 athletes who appeared at the team’s last of a two-day tryout session in the gymnasium Sept. 15 at North campus.
Yakura has significant achievements under his belt, including being the U23 National champion and qualifying for the world championships, both in 2014.
“If it’s the sport that you like to play, give it a shot because you meet so many different people and really get to know them on another level,” Yakura said. “They accommodate your needs for school and help you get caught up if you’re ever away.”
Assistant coach Karen Ng said Humber offering both academics and athletics is fundamental to the positive sportsmanlike atmosphere for the athletes.
The final badminton team lineup was picked Tuesday and will be posted on the Humber Athletics website within the upcoming week.