UEL’s Jamaican Badminton Superstar

Alistair Chin speaks to UEL and Jamaica's rising badminton star, Sean Wilson.

UEL Badminton club has had a rapid rise in a short period of time. Having an international star like Sean Wilson and being able to compete at a higher level is key for the progression of the club.

Having Wilson as the first ever badminton scholar at UEL, it’s a huge achievement and a step up for the club as a whole. This has been reflected in the undefeated start to the season with three wins and one draw.

Hobby

Wilson was introduced to badminton at the age of eight by a family friend who influenced him to play for the first time as a hobby. The friend was on his way to a session in Mandeville, Jamaica, and said that he was not going to leave until one of the Wilsons came to the session.

Being in the Jamaica setup, Wilson is able to play men’s singles and men’s doubles competing against other nations in the Pan-American region.

Previous events that he has competed in of note are the U19 Pan-American Junior Championships in 2014 where he won gold in the men’s doubles. With partner Samuel Ricketts, he defeated the American pairing 21-16, 21-15.

Cultures

Playing for the Jamaican national team from an early age, Wilson has been able to “travel to many countries in the Pan-American region” as he has played in Puerto Rico, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, United States and Mexico.

He finds this a privilege due to meeting and interacting with many people who have different cultures and are from different parts of the world. Travelling to these different countries, he has learnt to be more independent due to him travelling without his family from an early age as he was able to look after himself as a young teenager.

Beat

In Novemeber 2016 Wilson competed in the Badminton World Federation Welsh Open and in his first qualifier he beat Englishman Luke Hill 21-10, 22-20 in a two-set game. But unfortunately he got knocked out of the second round qualifiers by Austrian player Wolfgang Gnadt 21-6, 21-7.

Successful

Wilson has played for UEL Badminton this year and has been very successful. With his performances at such a high level, he has not lost a single game this year only losing one set against Imperial College in the cup but still coming out on top and winning 2-1.

England is a completely different part of the world to Jamaica but Sean say’s it’s “always exciting playing in another country” as he has only visited England a couple of times.

Playing a high intensity sport can be nerve racking as it is all done on adrenaline and it can be nerve-racking at points but he is usually more pumped than nervous.

As the UEL team are in the fourth division due to only being set up three years ago, Wilson aims to help the team gain promotion to the third division. Helping the team out as much as possible will only benefit UEL as he is only in his first year at university. There will be a good chance that he will be the captain of the side by the time he reaches this stage of this university life.

Before attending UEL sessions, he wasn’t sure what the standard would be at UEL. “I hoped it would be better than that of Jamaica.” Thinking that the team should be of a higher standard, he was impressed of the level of the team due to the team’s recent formation.

Future

Wilson is also studying a law degree as he hopes to become qualified barrister once he graduates. Balancing his badminton for Jamaica and UEL will be a challenge he will be willing to take.

In terms of the badminton side of things, he is preparing to participate in the 2020 Olympics which are being held in Japan hoping to get Jamaican – and UEL – Badminton on the map.


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