By AMELIA MERCHANT
Colorado College has recently added yet another club to its plethora of student organizations: Badminton Club. Ellen Steinlein, an elite badminton player, established the club and is planning on coaching this year. Steinlein played on the Chinese University of Hong Kong team and has been sponsored by Wilson while playing on the Golden Gate Badminton Club Elite Team.
“A couple weeks ago Ellen reached out to me via email saying she’s new to the area and has 20-plus years of experience playing badminton. She was interested to see if I was interested in exploring a badminton club at CC,” said Chris Starr, Director of Recreation and Fitness at CC. “I said, ‘Sure, why not?’”
Starr and Tre Wentling, Development Specialist at The Butler Center, worked together to advertise the club and gauge student interest. “We had 15-20 kids show up to our meeting,” said Starr. “I was very pleased with that. I think it’s better to have a small group of really interested students and then grow it from there, and I think it will grow.” Badminton Club will meet every Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Auxiliary Gym. It is not a formal commitment and students can easily drop in when they have time.
“I imagine there will be some kind of progressive teaching with the goal of either the team or individual competing in the league Ellen competes in, in town,” said Starr. The club will allow flexibility for students to participate just to play or to come to gain skills from the professional coaching Steinlein will provide. “Ellen has some really good experience,” Starr said.
Badminton Club is one of the first of its kind, along with the Climbing Club, as a casual student club that doesn’t yet have official club sport status. This means it is an opportunity for students to come together to exercise and have fun, without the pressure of competing or a significant time commitment.
Starr added, “It’s pretty informal, but I think it’s an offering for a niche group on campus. I think it’s great. I’m in full support of it.”