Badminton Becky is a blog written by an American girl, Becky Ances who is an English teacher at a Chinese University, and a badminton lover. Becky started playing badminton after she moved to China and she is madly in love with this amazing sport. She started running English Badminton Camps in China by 2018 and has her own Youtube channel now.
Today, I’m honored to have the opportunity to interview Becky about her story: why she fall for badminton and how’s this amazing sport has changed her life.
Q1) So you started playing badminton after you moved to China? Why did you start playing badminton?
Becky: I actually lived in China for six years before I discovered badminton. When I moved to Xiamen in 2014 from another Chinese city, I made a group of friends who did a lot of activities like hiking, ultimate frisbee, archery, and of course badminton. But they played badminton during the week and it was far from my home so I never went.
One day it was my friend’s birthday on a badminton night and we arranged a surprise birthday party after. Since I had to go to the party, I figured I might as well play badminton with them.
I didn’t love it at first but I had enough fun that first time that I started going once a week, more for my friends than for badminton. But slowly I started getting obsessed and started going twice a week, and then about six months later I realized I wanted to improve and get more serious, so I found a coach and a new club and that’s when I really got obsessed.
The ironic thing was I started playing badminton because of my friends, but soon I was playing so much badminton I had no time to ever see my friends! lol.
Q2) You played badminton in the US or places outside of China too? If so, what’s the difference?
Becky: I’ve only played a little badminton in the US. Since I started playing badminton about 4 years ago I have only been back to the US once so I don’t have a ton of experience with it. The biggest difference of course is availability.
In Xiamen, China there are more than 60 public badminton halls and dozens of more private ones. In America, there are almost none. The closest dedicated court to my parents’ house was more than an hour away. It’s no wonder American’s don’t play badminton much because they just aren’t exposed to it like other sports.
Q3) What is the best thing about playing badminton?
Becky: Everything, hahaha. Seriously, I love everything about badminton except how much I sweat! Where I play daily temperatures are 35-38 so when you play you are constantly drenched. But I love badminton so much that when I am playing a game I don’t even notice the heat.
But aside from that, I love everything about it, I love the movement, I love the speed and I especially love net kills, heh heh…
Q4) Why did you start organizing badminton camps in China? What’s the best part and the biggest challenge?
Becky: I started just because I realize I have an amazing badminton life here. I have my own top coach who has his own badminton hall I can go to at any time. I know a lot of foreigners want the experience of learning badminton in China because of the high level of skill here, but with the language difference it is tough, and finding information on the internet in English isn’t easy.
So I started these badminton camps just to help people come to China to train. I teach university students who are studying English so I have them help foreigners around Xiamen, and translate for my coach, which is also very convenient and makes it easier for foreigners to come here.
Basically, I started it so I could help make training in China easier for people that didn’t speak Chinese.
The challenge is of course the timing. It’s not a job for me, in fact, I don’t really make any money from it, but it takes me a lot of time to plan and arrange everything. So I only do it once a week in the summer. I know that’s not convenient for most people. Someday it would be cool if I could turn it into a more regular thing, but for now, it’s very limited.
Q5) Are you the only expat in your badminton club? How’s the interaction with local Chinese players?
Becky: I’m not only the only expat in my club but almost the entire Xiamen badminton community! There are a few other Asian expats, like Malaysian, Indonesian, etc, but I am the only westerner that plays in all the competitions and is “known” by people.
Of course, it can be hard sometimes (some competitions require a Chinese ID card to register which I don’t have, so I can’t play which I think is unfair) but overall I really love it. People are usually surprised that a white, blond girl not only plays badminton but speaks Chinese as well! hahaha. But I’ve been around for so long now, and have played at so many different courts with different people everyone kind of knows me and totally accepts me like a local. It’s really nice.
The badminton community here is quite large, but in general really nice and I’ve made a lot of friends because of it (not to mention meeting my boyfriend.)
Q6) What’s your badminton related dream? How did badminton change your life?
Becky: Badminton changed my life completely. For starters, I met my boyfriend from badminton, haha, but my entire social life and friend group has changed as well. I also have a lot of confidence in other parts of my life because my success in badminton (when you see yourself grow and improve in one part of your life, like me with badminton, you realize you can change and improve other parts of your life the same way!)
And through my Youtube channel, I’ve been able to meet a ton of really interesting people who are just as passionate as myself. And I got to talk to many of the pro players which is always exciting!
My badminton dream though is to be a “top player in my city” which I say at the beginning of every Youtube video. That means I need to win first place at the competitions. I feel quite confident that any competition I enter I will place in the top 5, and I’ve won the second place a few times. But I’ve NEVER won first place so that’s my dream, haha.
Q7) What’s next with badminton Becky?
Becky: Good question! Unfortunately, I have a genetic health disorder that I have been struggling with a lot the past 2 years and so my badminton playing has suffered. I had to stop training because I was too weak, and as a result, my playing has gotten worse.
But I am starting to recover thanks to some new medicine, and I hope that within 6 months or so I will be healthy enough to train again and start improving.
Also when coronavirus lockdowns stop and things get back to normal, I’d like to travel around to different countries and try training camps in other countries, just to see and try the different styles.
Other than that I will just keep playing, entering competitions in my city, and keep making YouTube videos!
Final Words from Lorraine
The reason why I decided to interview Becky was that I was watching random badminton videos on youtube and Becky’s video caught my eyes. I started watching all videos on her youtube channel… then I started reading her blogs.
Badminton Becky shares a lot of interesting information and details about being an American player in China. We enjoyed reading her blogs a lot and thought you would find her story very interesting too!
Badminton has long been an Asian dominant sport, however, in the US, it’s more like a backyard sport. We hope more Americans would fall for this amazing sport! Cheers!
Below is the contact info about Badminton Becky.
- Website: www.badmintonbecky.com
- Youtube Channel: Badminton Becky
- FB: Badminton Becky
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org