Badminton is not tennis. Or squash. In fact, the only similarity among the three is that they are all racket sports.
These are a few of the misconceptions that Badminton player Tamisha Williams wants cleared up. Tamisha, who has been playing since she was 13 years old, said she wanted the sport to become one of the mainstream sports on the island. “I really would like to see a Badminton athlete from Barbados on the world stage. A lot of Bajans don’t know about badminton,” she said, “They ask about squash and tennis but badminton deserves more exposure. I want it to become popular.”
She noted that though some people did not consider it a serious sport, the amount of training that was required was similar to other high-charged sports. “There’s a lot of people who think badminton is not a sport. We go through the same intensity of training as a footballer,” she pointed out, “Badminton is such a dynamic sport; fast-paced movements and so technical. It’s also a mind game, and you have to be really fit in order to compete.”
She said playing badminton had changed her life and made her into a better person. “Badminton has really boosted my confidence; it has helped me to maintain my focus in life. It has made me into a role model for the younger ones on the junior team, and also my daughter,” Tamisha said.
Tamisha added that sports was integral to the development of young people, and that they should be encouraged to get involved. She added: “Sports and academics go hand in hand; it makes you a well-rounded individual. “I think sports play a major role in youth’s lives. It teaches obedience and how to follow instructions. It has also given me the opportunity to be part of something I can be proud of,” she said.
The two-time National Champion who took a break in 2000, returned nine years later and has not missed a serve. She is also the National and Regional Mixed-doubles Champion. She won silver in Singles at the 2014 regional championships in Jamaica, and recently competed in the Suriname International Open, where she said she hoped to medal. “I would like to become the champion in Singles and Mixed; I would like to bring home the gold,” she said.
Tamisha, who enjoys Classical hymns and Vintage Reggae, said she believed that “strong is the new sexy”, and wanted to pursue a career in body fitness after she hangs up her rackets. She said she would continue to strive to be a role model for the younger players, but more importantly for her daughter. “I am passionate about parenting. I want to be someone that my daughter can look up to,” she said, “I want to be the best parent I can be; my daughter is my world”.