NINETEEN-year-old Caribbean champion Narayan Ramdhani is undoubtedly Guyana’s most accomplished badminton player. He also made his mark as the region’s leading player – a multiple silver medallist at the Caribbean Championships.
He has been medallng on the Caribbean arena since the age of nine, racking up a number of hardware since then.
Over the years, Narayan has amassed 11 silver and five bronze medals at the Caribbean Championships.
He also ended with bronze at the South American Youth Games in Peru in 2013 and at the Peru Junior International 2016.
The former Marian Academy student has represented Guyana at World Juniors, the Pan American Games and Pan Am Olympic Festival Games. He was age Group Champion at Suriname Easter International 2006-2016.
However, all of that was as a junior player, but at this year’s Caribbean Badminton Championships in August, Narayan will be stepping out for his first year as a senior player.
Definitely a difficult task, but the 2015 Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year is hoping that his years as a junior have prepared him enough, to at least put forth a satisfactory performance.
Narayan will also be looking to capitalise on his development over the past year in Canada, since taking up his scholarship at the Shuttlesport Badminton Academy located in Vancouver.
“I’m very confident playing in seniors for the first time because I was training very hard in Canada and I’m sure I’ll do well at Carebaco. It has been great, I had lots of fun training and going to school, so I think I improved a lot both on and off the court,” Ramdhani said.
“The competition in Canada is very tough, because Canada has the highest level of badminton on this side of the world; the training over there helped me to improve and to be a better player.”
In Canada, Narayan was able to have advantages that he did not have in Guyana.
“In Canada I can use the badminton courts anytime, and any day in the week without problem. But in Guyana I have a specific time to train and when to leave. It was hard because to be a better player I need more training time,” he remarked.
Narayan is home on holiday for two months and is training locally here at the Yonex Badminton Club,three times a week. He attends the Michael Parris Gym two to three times a week. He is currently being supervised by trainer Theodore Henry.
Prior to leaving Guyana last year September, Narayan was undoubtedly Guyana’s top player, sweeping title after title, even in the senior category.
He is encouraged by his badminton family, which includes sibling Priyanna Ramdhani, Guyana’s top female badminton player at just 14 years old. He is following in the footsteps of his father Gokarn, a former national player in the 1980s, and now president of the Guyana Badminton Association, as well as a coach. Even their mom is involved in the sport.
Destined to be a local badminton great, it was no surprise that he took up the sport at a really young age – four years old to be exact.
His profession saw him eventually peaking as number three in the Pan American rankings. But it was his world ranking at number 53 that has been one of his proudest accomplishments. What Narayan has loved most over the years is being able to travel and experience the world as he develops his badminton skills.
“The thing I love most about being a badminton player is the travelling all over the world, seeing different places and meeting new people. Also badminton is a very fun sport to play, and it’s a great source of excerise,” he said.