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NPAI VANG: Picking up the racket one last time

When searching for a new hobby to occupy her time, senior Npai Vang found badminton. She first picked up the racket during her sophomore year and has had an admiration for the sport ever since.

“Badminton is different than a lot of the other athletics offered at Stagg,” Vang said. She believes the unique qualities it possesses is what initially drew her to the sport and kept her coming back to it year after year.

Vang believes badminton could be very taxing, especially since she plays singles. “You have to constantly run up and down the court. If you don’t have a partner, you have that much more area to cover,” she said.

Though Vang started out playing doubles, her coach suggested after her first year that she switch to singles. Once she made the transition, she found her new position gave her much more fulfillment and had no wishes to go back.

Being a veteran, Vang does feel it is her duty to offer advice to the newcomers. Although she admits she has more to learn herself, Vang tries to pass what tips and tricks she does know onto the rising players, as she remembers how she felt when she was in their shoes.

Her best advice to anybody wishing to play badminton, or any sport, is to find time to improve upon your skills outside of regularly scheduled practices. “The extra time you put in will show when you’re on the court,” she said.

“I’ve met a lot of great people and made close friends on the team,” Vang said, reflecting on the past three years. “I’ve also developed a healthier lifestyle and become more active on campus.”

While Vang has no plans to play badminton after high school, she is grateful for the joy the sport has brought her during her time at Stagg.

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NPAI VANG: Picking up the racket one last time