There’s a sense of accomplishment when you achieve your goals. To be recognized for your efforts is an honour and Imran Wadia, a men’s badminton player for the NAIT Ooks, has definitely been recognized. Wadia has been named the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s player of the year.
This year, NAIT’s badminton team finished the regular season in first place in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. In three regular season tournaments, Imran produced a perfect 9-0 singles record and was 5-1 in doubles.
Of his play at the nationals this year, he says: “It was good. I won singles actually and then I lost with Nicholas Roquein in the semifinals of doubles.”
When you see the accolades Imran has racked up you can tell he knows what he’s doing.
He credits his technique for his success.
“I think I have a unique technique that makes me stand out from everyone else.”
Imran has skill. Mix skill with good coaching and it can go along way.
“The coaches are really supportive. They know exactly what’s going on,” he says. “They’ve played before as well and they have an understanding of the mindset and what work needs to be put in to be successful.”
He says the perception of badminton as a soft sport is mistaken.
“Most people don’t think badminton’s a very hard sport but there are lots of aspects that make it really hard,” he said.
“You have to be very fit. There’s a lot of jumping and you have to be very explosive. Jump quickly, lunge forward – your legs need to be very strong to handle that. You have to be very low to the ground at all times and it’s very fast. It’s a hard sport when you really get into the top levels.”
Imran Wadia draws inspiration from his parents.
“They’re just very relaxed and they tell me what I need to do,” he said. “They push me but they don’t push me in a way (that’s) forcing me to hate the sport. It’s making me learn a lot about myself and how working hard really pays off. Just putting your mind to something and really going for that.”
– Teagen Giselbrecht