By Dario Jimenez ’21
The light shuffling of feet, high pitched squeaking of shoes gripping the floor, and an ever so light popping are familiar sounds that echo through Bellarmine’s auxiliary gym. These sounds of competition are made by the Bellarmine Badminton Club, who meet every Tuesday at lunch. During meetings, members practice and share their love for the sport. Originating in Greece and China, Badminton is almost 2,000 years old, and was also introduced as an Olympic sport in the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. Played with a racket, Badminton looks a lot like tennis, but it has many main differences. The court is much smaller, and it is played with a birdie. A birdie is a cork-like half sphere with feathers attached at the end to form a cone-like shape. Because of the peculiar form, the birdie flies much differently than any other ball; in flight, the half-sphere cuts through the air with the feathers following it. As it is hit, the birdie spins 180 degrees, making for an interesting game to watch. This interest sparked as many as 72 people to join the club that continues to grow in popularity, especially around the Bellarmine campus.
The 8-year-old club’s welcoming nature is illustrated by their leader, Dylon Tjanaka, “Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, come to our meetings on Tuesdays at Lunch,” he said.
Dylon himself did not have much badminton experience before joining the club either, “Prior to joining the Badminton Club, I played badminton casually and had very little experience. Anybody of any skill level is welcome to join the Badminton Club!”
Dylon became involved in the club early, “I became the Vice President of the Badminton Club in freshman year and President in my junior year,” and has bigger aspirations for the club, “In the future, we are looking at more lunchtime practices and afterschool practices.”
No doubt the growth in club activity will spark even more interest in the growing club. As Dylon puts it, “The purpose of the Badminton Club is to popularize badminton and have fun at the same time! For the past eight years, the Badminton Club has provided a niche for badminton-lovers… where we practice, play, and learn together.”