Aaron Tan of Bedok: “The Community Games is giving people a chance to play competitively.”

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Aaron Tan goes low to receive a shot in his singles match against Kampong Chai Chee. (Photo 1 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)

Singapore Badminton Hall, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 — Aaron Tan, 26, played for Bedok CSC in the East Coast Cluster final in the Community Games badminton tournament.

Aaron was in the Singapore national badminton squad from 2003 to early 2008.

We had interviewed Aaron way back in 2007 and we caught up with him again to find out what he has been doing in the last five years.

Red Sports: What are you up to these days?
Aaron: I just finished my first year at SMU (Singapore Management University).

Red Sports: So what’s SMU like?
Aaron: It’s a competitive school. It gives real-life experiences. I enjoy the curriculum and the interactions.

Red Sports: What are you studying?
Aaron: Business Management.

Red Sports: How involved are you in badminton, besides playing in the Community Games?
Aaron: I’m an assistant coach to Zhang Qing Song at the Singapore Badminton School. We have players who are aged eight to 16 at the school. I’ve been out of the national scene for four years.

Red Sports: What do you miss about playing in the national team?
Aaron I miss the great times with the players. I miss travelling with my teammates, the camarderie, especially when competing in major games like the SEA Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Red Sports: For the record, how many major games have you attended?
Aaron: I went to three SEA Games (’03, ’05, ’07) and one Commonwealth Games (’06).

Red Sports: Are you playing for SMU?
Aaron: Yes, I’m playing for SMU and I’m the VP of the badminton team. We’re preparing for SUniG (Singapore University Games) in mid-September.

Red Sports: What do you think about the competitive level of the IVP (Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic) Badminton Championship?
Aarn: IVP badminton is getting more competitive. Schools now scout for players. The Polys are bringing in more higher-level players.

Red Sports: Who are the strong teams in IVP?
Temasek Poly dominated the IVP for the last three years. They were the champions this year. I was in the team that won. (Aaron was in TP before entering SMU.) For the next IVP coming in January, NTU and RP (men’s), NUS (women’s), are strong.

Red Sports: So how do you find the Community Games badminton tournament? Your team is very strong with five ex-national shuttlers.
Aaron: You can have all the youngsters but you need to have a well-balanced team. (CG teams are required to have players of different ages.)

I’m surprised with the atmosphere, with supporters coming down to support. It’s been quite competitive, with players I’ve never seen before performing well.

The Community Games is giving people a chance to play competitively. It’s giving the younger generation a chance to play and progress.

More photos next page

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