24 January 2017
The two sisters loved it from the start, playing every opportunity they got. In just over 3 years, they have achieved some stunning results and thoroughly enjoy spurring each other on. Asha says, “Going to tournaments can be scary but once you get over the nerves it is a great experience. You get to make good friends with people from all over the country.”
Now seeded at 10th and 53rd in the UK for their respective age groups, Asha, 12, and Maya, 15, play in regional and national tournaments most weekends. After a chance meeting with the manager of the Middlesex U15 County team, Maya started playing for them. Asha soon followed in her footsteps in the U13 County team. In April 2016, Maya played for Middlesex in the Inter County Tournament, where they came a creditable 16th out of 35 teams.
This year, Maya is U18 County Champion in the singles, doubles and mixed events and Asha is U16 and U14 singles County Champion. Maya and Asha would love to play for England, both in singles and as a doubles pair. They know just how much training and hard work it will take to get there, and so in the meantime they take every opportunity to represent their school and county.
Playing in as many tournaments as possible helps the girls improve their game every time they are on court. Maya reflects, “I’ve lost lots of matches but I’ve learned how to improve every time. It’s those losses that have led to my wins.”
Natalie Barton, a badminton teacher at St Helen’s, comments, “Both Maya and Asha have made excellent progress in badminton over the last few years. Their commitment to practising, along with their desire to improve, means they are now competing at a very high level. Their resilient attitude and willingness to train hard will hopefully help them fulfil their aspirations of representing their country”.