Badminton team hits the courts: senior captains adjust to new coaching changes

Mihika Sathe, staff writer

Girls’ Badminton has long been an enjoyable sport at Edina High School that combines athletic talent with a fun team environment. The team, whose eighth season began on March 4, is going through a lot of changes this year, including new captains and an entirely new coaching staff. “I think the biggest change is that the coaches that started Edina Badminton aren’t here anymore, and we have a new coach this year,” senior captain Ayesha Chowdhury said.

The team’s new coach, Evelyn Christanto, has a lot of previous experience playing badminton. “I grew up in Indonesia and started playing badminton when I was eight years old. I used to be one of the best when I was younger,” Christanto said.

Christanto also received extensive training in the sport. “I played competitively and joined [the prestigious badminton club] PB Djarum Kudus on a full badminton scholarship when I was 13 years old. We practiced badminton six hours a day Monday to Saturday,” Christanto said.

In addition to rigorous training in playing badminton, Christanto is also trained in coaching the sport. “I am a USA Badminton Certified Coach and SafeSport Certified,” Christanto said.

Despite having a highly qualified coach, the team is still facing several challenges. “Last year our varsity lineup was all seniors and this year we don’t know what the lineup is going to look like. We’re working hard to train JV [members] from last year to get them ready for varsity,” Chowdhury said.

The captains are also working on making the team more united as a whole. “Badminton has singles and doubles teams, so it’s hard to define it as one single team, but this year we’re going to work really hard to get the girls bonded,” Chowdhury said.

Both Chowdhury and Christanto agree on the team’s main goal for this season. “[Our main goal is to] do better at the state tournament,” Christanto said. Chowdhury added, “we’re going to try to get in the top ten at state. We’re usually in the teens.”

Although the team is changing a lot this season, they are still striving to create a positive atmosphere on their team in order to set their team up for success. “The girls on the team are very nice and social and we’re really excited for this season,” Chowdhury said.