Badminton Fan Gets Her Wish

Thursday, August 22, 2019
TEXT BY GEETHANJALI LAKSHMAYYA | ALAN SPINK

“I love badminton,” said Teh Xiao Xuan talking about her reason for volunteering at the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 in Basel, Switzerland.

Teh is particularly a huge fan of women’ singles player Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.

“I love Tai Tzu Ying. She’s such a good athlete but she’s also such a humble person.”

Teh who speaks fluent Mandarin and English, helped Tai with language interpretation during an interview. “After that I confessed to her in the mixed zone that I am a huge fan and she said thank you.”

Although she gushes about her admiration for the athletes, Teh understands the importance of maintaining a level of professionalism. She’s very disciplined about not taking selfies with athletes in the mixed zone, explaining that it would be an invasion of the athlete’s privacy.

“The first time I was a mixed zone assistant I was so excited seeing Tai Tzu Ying and all the Malaysian players coming through for their interviews. I couldn’t believe I was talking to them and directing them to their position.”

Teh is a Malaysian studying computer science and electronics at the University of Bristol in England but she has spent her summer breaks the last two years as a volunteer at badminton tournaments.

She has already been at the All England 2018 and 2019, and this World Championships is her third assignment.

“It’s the best way for a badminton fan to not only see their favourite stars in action but to learn about what goes on behind the scenes at these big tournaments.”