Athlete in Focus: Priyanka S.

Article by: Georgina Pekin

Following the recent closure of our third season sports season and the final IASAS of the year, this week’s athlete in focus is a member of the varsity girls badminton team and a two-year IASAS representative as a mere sophomore. IASAS badminton 2015 was held in Taipei American School during the last week of easter break, along with other exciting tournaments with students traveling to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Third season is always one of the more difficult ones as it’s nearing the end of the semester, when work is piling up, holidays are few and far and for the outdoor sports, it’s the hottest time of the year. Bamboo telegraph has interviewed one of our famed female third season athletes, Priyanka Sharma about her third-season experience with the varsity badminton team.

Priyanka has been playing badminton since she was eight years old, and it’s become one of her prominent stress relievers and favorite pastimes, as well as one of her many great talents, as she went to IASAS as the first doubles seed along with Aarushi Joshi. Although badminton plays an important role in her life as a highschool student-athlete, she told BT that “I started playing badminton because my parents are badminton players, honestly I was forced into it. I hated it at first.” This is actually quite a common theme among many athletes, and makes for an interesting conversation into how the child feels “post-hatred”, and whether they are thankful for the pressure from their parents or whether they regret the experience. In Priyanka’s case, pressure from her parents to play badminton has helped her become the talented athlete she now is, and can provided her with a valuable method to release stress. Priyanka emphasized this in saying, “I love playing badminton because of its intensity, badminton actually helps me to relieve my stress. Smashing and screaming definitely helps.”

As for IASAS 2015, Priyanka recounted, “This year, I know that we didn’t reach what place we wanted during IASAS, but that’s only because we just started creating a new team. We have quite a few freshmen; last year I was the only freshman, it was full of seniors who had experience. If we didn’t let the scores get to our head, we would’ve done even better.” The ISM Girls badminton finished 5th at IASAS this year by a close margin. Priyanka hopes that next year, “Our team will put in more effort and I’ll be able to help by having fun but staying in the zone at the same time.”