Volume 93, Issue 74

Thursday, February 10, 2000


SPORTS

Warriors banished to underworld

Coulter ready to mix it up with the competition

Wong: the secret ingredient in Western's badminton recipe

Road trip a must for unification

Coulter ready to mix it up with the competition



By Chad Thompson
Gazette Staff

Badminton is a sport which requires both grace and skill. Kendra Coulter of Western's badminton team has both of those qualities.

The second-year scholar's electives student at Huron College said the choice to come to Western was an easy one.

"The scholarship made the decision quite easy," the Edmonton native said, adding the quality of her academic program was also a draw. "The [new] international and comparative studies program has already gained a good reputation with solid faculty members and disciplinary programs," she said.

Coulter, who did not start playing badminton until she was in high school, said managing time is one of the most difficult aspects of being a student athlete.

"Practices take up a lot of time, so you definitely have to organize all your affairs. It's an additional thing on top of everything else. It's fun but at the same time it's 12 hours a week plus certain weekends – it's a huge commitment."

At times, badminton can be viewed as a low energy, non–athletic activity, but Coulter said this view of the sport was misguided.

"The perception of badminton as a slow-paced, easy sport is completely wrong. In a lot of Asian countries, they take it as seriously as we take hockey. At the Olympics they have bleachers full of fans. It's very fast and has a lot of power – it's sort of power and technique together."

Coulter added playing doubles in badminton was a lot different than playing singles.

"There are ways a doubles game is designed so you rotate to cover different areas, depending on the shot that's made. If you're playing singles, you only have to worry about yourself and when you make mistakes or you're not into it, you only let down yourself. Whereas in doubles, you're always worried about your teammate, but your teammate can always help you out."

Athletes have different ways of preparing for matches. Coulter said she tries to keep her mind on anything but badminton before a match.

"Sometimes before I go on, I'll read a book on something completely unrelated about badminton to put [it] in perspective that [badminton] is just a game and there's a big world with lots of other problems around us."

Coulter and her doubles partner, Marcus Wong, won the Ontario University Athletics individual mixed doubles title last month and Coulter said she hoped they repeat their performance this weekend at the OUA championships.

"I hope we win. It's going to be a big challenge. We've beaten every team, but there is a lot of mental pressure going on with the OUAs and that can change things sometimes. I think we should do well. We have a really solid team."

Western head coach Bill Mason said Coulter was a steady player. "She's a mixed doubles specialist," he said. "She's very dedicated and committed to the team. She's also a good scholar."

Wong had nothing but praise for his doubles partner. "She's a lot of fun to talk to. We always have a good time at the tournaments. We always get along and help each other out and support each other [on the court]."

When it comes to her future, Coulter said she has her mind set on studying primates. I'd like to maybe try to innovate in primatology, to focus on different methodology and the social aspect of primates."


To Contact The Sports Department:
gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

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