Seeing doubles on the court

“We’re sisters, partners in crime and best friends.”

That’s how junior Flora Jin describes her relationship with her badminton doubles partner sophomore Isabella Sun.

When she turned nine, Sun moved to the United States where her mother met Jin’s mother. Soon after, Sun’s mother introduced badminton to Jin, encouraging her to play doubles badminton with Sun.

“Badminton became a part of my life. It’s a pretty vital part of my life, and sometimes if I don’t play badminton, I feel like I’m missing out on something,” Sun said. “It has become more of a habit than a hobby.”

In 2014, Sun’s mother created the American Badminton Club (ABC) to attract more people who enjoy playing badminton. From this club, Sun and Jin developed their coordination and communication skills through discussing strategies to improve footwork, covering and accuracy.

“At first, we were both shy with each other but slowly through badminton, we learned to communicate with each other,” Jin said. “When you have a partner on court, it’s important to have that connection, especially when you’re in a high-stress situation. You have to be able to trust each other and understand each other. It was a process, but it just came naturally.”

With the help of freshman Ethan Xu, Sun and Jin recently hosted the first annual Mayor’s Cup where over 100 players participated at the Walnut Teen Center on Saturday, March 3. They planned the logistics behind the fundraising tournament, contacted Yonex to provide birdies and bags and donated the funds to Walnut.

“I am proud that I’ve created something that can help spread the knowledge of badminton to many who do not know about it. It is the very first tournament I have ever had the pleasure of hosting, and I sincerely wish it wouldn’t be the last,” Sun said. “I hope that it can become a annual tradition that all of us here in Walnut can witness and cherish. [We] spent days and nights restlessly planning out this grand event and seeing that our effort has not gone to waste is such a relief to us.”

The camaraderie Sun and Jin share has translated into their personal and social lives; they both seek advice from each other. They both value each other’s input when handling situations with their friends.

“I look up to Flora because she’s older than me and went through the things I’m going through right now. We ask each other what we should do and work out problems together,” Sun said. “If I have a problem, she imagines what she would do in my position, and we share our thoughts on it.”

Currently, neither Sun nor Jin plan to pursue badminton professionally. However, they will both try out for next school year’s Walnut High School badminton team and hope to compete in doubles.

“Both of us really enjoy playing badminton but we also know that we would like to pursue other things and we would still play badminton together but maybe not as professionals,” Jin said. “I hope we can create an environment where people can come together just like how did at ABC.”

By Sherman Wu, Manager
Photo by Emily Ng

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