TWO Wits Badminton players made it into the USSA national squad after impressing selectors throughout the year.
Matthew Mitchell, 2nd BSC Quantity Surveying, and Tashlin Hamid, 3rd year Bcom Marketing, have both helped build-up the club for the past three years and will now be representing South Africa at the University National Team World Championships in Russia next year.
Hamid first picked-up the racket in the garden at the age of 11. He will be putting on the national jersey for the third time.
Due to a knee injury Hamid was unable to participate in the USSA tournament held at the beginning of July, but as one of the highest ranked players in the country the selectors gave him a spot.
“I was very relieved, I thought the injury would exclude me from making the squad.”
It was a lot of hard work and third time the charm for Mitchell who had failed to get on the squad in the previous two years.
“Tashlin making the squad in our first year drove me to work harder, because after playing together a lot I knew I was just as good,” said Mitchell.
After making sure he met the criteria, Mitchell wasn’t sure he would make the squad this time around. “I forgot to stand up when they called my name, I was a little bit shocked.”
The two athletes said they owe much of their success to their junior coach Drikus Mentz, who pushed them into junior tournaments.
Both have a tireless love for the sport and hope to continue playing professionally.
Published: Wits Vuvuzela on 24 July 2015.