After several months of planning and building my coach finally opened up his own badminton courts! And they are aamazzzinggg!
He built it from scratch, and it’s exactly what you would expect from someone who is an expert and connoisseur of all things badminton. For instance?
Well, I always assumed that you bought the green ground for the court as a kinda set pack. Like astro-turf you just buy it in packs and roll it out. I know that because older places have a problem where the pieces separate and the line gets misaligned. But at my coach’s place each green springy ground was made to order and hand painted. Yep, I didn’t even know they did such a thing, but I saw them painting the lines with my own eyes.
I think a lot of people won’t notice or care, but it makes a difference in game play. And that’s not the only detail he got right. While he was building it my coach discussed at length the concrete and the wood material that’s under the green stuff. I wish I could tell you the details but my “flooring and building materials,” Chinese isn’t that great and I didn’t understand much of what he said.
But I did understand it’s something special that he’s very excited about. Playing there is much quicker and feels, I don’t know, more professional. (Not that I know what professional actually feels like, but it feels like I would imagine professional is.)
It’s only been open for 7 days but I’ve already played there three times. I’ve met a bunch of cool people and the most exciting person was my coach’s coach! (My coach granddaddy.) He lives in Shenzhen and was just there for the night, so it was lucky to meet him.
After watching my coach and him play (clash of the titans style) I went out with them and some of their friends for a big midnight Xiamen-style dinner (all seafood eaten next to the ocean). They talked for hours about all things badminton which was awesome for me even if I only understood about half of what was said.
It’s my new “badminton home” and as his student I feel a bit of ownership of the place. I don’t need to worry about booking a court, or having enough people to play with. I know I can show up at anytime and my coach will find people for me to play with. I’m also included in a lot more than I would as just a customer. Two nights ago his wife cut up a cold watermelon for me to eat after playing. I think she felt bad how red and sweaty I was.
So if you are coming to Xiamen, make sure to check out these awesome courts! And as it is only 20 minutes away from my home, maybe I’ll see you there.