By Jessica Reyes
The Wong family is a badminton legacy at Humber.
Mark, Tracy and Ray all played for the Hawks and for the past three years Ray has been the coach of the Hawks badminton team.
Ray played four years as a student athlete and three years in the OCAA.
At the age of 12, he was inspired to follow his father’s footsteps in badminton.
In Hong Kong, his father played badminton for 26 years before passing his techniques and skills to his children.
“Badminton is a really fast paced and high intensity sport. It’s not just a summer sport that can be played in your backyard,” Ray said.
Ray chose Humber College because he knew the badminton coaches and was also interested in majoring in Business Management.
While studying for his major at Humber, he influenced his younger siblings, Mark and Tracy, to join him.
Mark Wong graduated from the architecture studies program and was on the badminton team throughout his four years at Humber.
After graduation, Mark continued his passion for architecture and is currently a project manager for Toro Aluminum.
Tracy Wong is the youngest sibling and currently in her fifth year at the University of Guelph-Humber, studying kinesiology.
Tracy didn’t initially like playing badminton, but she was convinced and supported by her brothers who insisted she was just as good as them.
Ray was excited when both siblings decided to come to Humber. He knew at one point he would get to be on the same team and train together.
“We use to have family competitions when we were kids, it was fun,” he said.
Tracy said her family is very competitive on the court and learning to accept their criticism was sometimes difficult and hurtful.
“It’s hard to play with my brothers because we sometimes get into arguments and I have to deal with it,” she said.
Ray always wanted to play badminton as a professional athlete, but said the funding to support the sport is not sufficient in Canada — and Mark agrees.
“Badminton doesn’t have much funding by the Canadian government. In my perspective there’s less opportunities and less income,” said Mark.
Asia and Europe have the leading countries that support badminton as a professional sport.
Five years from now, Ray hopes to still be leading the Humber’s badminton program to victory each year and that badminton will expand in Canada.