Lynn Michel develops her badminton game as a player and coach
SudburySports.com - Tennis/Squash/Badminton
badminton game as a player and coach
Not exactly the case for accomplished Collège Boréal badminton coach Lynn Michel, who acknowledges that her involvement in the sport did not begin until well after her post-secondary studies had ended.
Growing up, volleyball was the sport of choice for Michel
, with a mix of basketball added in to the potluck of athletic pursuits.
Though it might be hard to believe it these days, Michel's start in badminton was an inauspicious one, a little happen-chance mixed in with good fortune.
An active member at the Sudbury YMCA, she stumbled across a very accomodating group of players more than willing to welcome her into the fold, passing along whatever advice they could.
, the entire atmostphere that surrounded her
first taste of badminton played a huge role in her
ever-increasing affinity for the sport.
""I think it was a combination of having someone actually welcome you in the sport.
I started just like anybody, not even winning any games, moving from beginner to intermediate and then competitive", she
That was about 15 years ago and little could Michel
have predicted the gradual expansion of her
badminton horizons over time.
steady progression as a player gave way to tournament play and success along the way, a snowball effect that so often pushes forward the competitive edge of athletes.
A registered nurse by trade, Michel
required surgery some eight years ago, forcing her
to take some time away from the courts, at least as a player.
Given the fact that she
had begun making a name for herself within local badminton circles, she
was approached by the crew at Collège Boréal to see if any interest in coaching existed.
readily admits that the request could not have come at a better time, providing wonderful therapy throughout her
"Coaching was a good thing (for my recovery).
It's different than playing...a chance to pass along what you've learned and seeing what these kids can do."
What "these kids" can do has been nothing short of amazing for a school that is dwarfed in student body size by much of their OCAA competition.
With just two years to work with the majority of her
nine or ten person team, Michel
has produced a string a provincial medal winners in recent history, a competitiveness that is astounding given the starting point of many of her
"We get a variety of athletes - beginners that have not held a raquet at all, some students that have played at the elementary level in their hometown.
Taking students who initially don't even know how to hold a raquet and taking them within two years to Regionals and Provincials, that's pretty good", sums up Michel
Pretty good indeed - enough to catch the attention of local sports observers as Lynn Michel
finds herself among the three finalists for the House of Kin Hall of Fame
Dinner Coach of the Year nominees.
is quick to share the accolades.
"I consider myself very lucky to have the help of some great assistant coaches - Denis Dionne and Sarah Ball - they're very knowledgeable and the field...and they're great friends.
also notes an added bonus tied in to her
She remains a focal point with the Sudbury Badminton Club, an organization that also calls the gymnasium at Collège Boréal home on a couple of nights a week.
The synergies with the Vipères
varsity team are not difficult to find.
"Having the club at Boreal gives the students extra time and a chance to play with adult competition", says Michel
Through it all, one gets the sense that while the podium finishes are appreciated, they are clearly not what drives Lynn Michel
love of the sport, she
believes, comes in part from an appreciation for the sheer sportsmanship of the game and the fact that it lends itself easily to becoming a family affair.