Dayvon Reid is nursing leg injuries, studying for exams, and on top of that, heading to the Canadian University Badminton Championships in Montreal in three days.
“I haven’t really checked in with my doctor,” said Reid about whether he’ll be ready to play competitive badminton on March 23. “I also have assignments and a midterm coming up; I haven’t even had time to look at my body.”
Dayvon last competed in the College and University Championships last year in the individual event. He also competed at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Championships last year for George Brown College and won silver.
Head coach Rob Fullerton says that in his 20 years with the Rams, this team is the strongest by far going into nationals. He says that he is confident the whole team will do well, especially after a particularly good run at the OUAs.
“This was not just the result of a couple of great performances—every one of our athletes had wins, and most had several. This is a definite shift from previous seasons,” says Fullerton.
Team members are chosen to go to the Canadian University Championships based on their availability (academic and health-related), as well as on their skill level and experience. After winning two bronze medals at the Ontario University Athletics Championship two weeks ago, Reid’s spot is secure, but his injury remains an issue.
A few weeks before the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Badminton Championships at Ryerson on March 10, Reid found out he had a jumper’s knee, which is straining of the tendons in the knee causing minor tears. He also has tendonitis in the Achilles tendon in his leg.
Both of these minor injuries are the result of constant jumping, landing and changing direction during sport. While they are not serious enough to damage his badminton career or reputation, they can lead to some discomfort and pain, and need time to heal. And time is something he doesn’t have a lot of.
“This is an injury you can play with… but it is painful. The coach wants me to come out but it depends how I’m feeling; maybe I’ll play in only two of three divisions,” says Reid.
The 23-year-old says he felt the injury creeping up on him before OUA tournament, but he also knows that for now he will need to focus on his injury to be ready for nationals. In the meantime, he says he is trying to get as much accounting homework done as possible—but he’s not worried.
“Balancing everything is okay. I knew things would pile up and something had to (be) sacrificed. I expected to fall behind a bit during this time.”
Reid says that he is an experienced varsity athlete and is familiar with the pressures of training, maintaining his health and keeping up with schoolwork. He says it doesn’t faze him anymore.
As for looking back at his performance at the OUAs he says that even though he was in pain most of the time, his Ryerson Rams teammates helped him ignore the pain and ultimately win two bronze medals.
“The team got me through it, and everyone cheering me on, on the court and from the stands. Eventually the adrenaline takes over and after that it’s just the game,” says Reid.
Reid brought home a bronze in men’s singles, as well as another bronze in mixed doubles, playing with fellow Pan American competitor and champion, Vivian Kwok.
“We were both expected to do well, and we both know the game well. She’s a strong athlete, and my advantage is also my strength,” he says.
Reid and Kwok both have international experience playing badminton. Kwok represented Canada and won Junior bronze at the Pan American Games in 2010, and Reid represented Jamaica at the 2007 games in Mexico.