Mount Allison’s badminton program has a history of success, winning nine straight ACAA championships. Fourth-year Badminton Mounties Olivia Adams and Jaryd Morrissey have been a big part of the program’s winning ways. They both say the keys to the team’s success are its family atmosphere and each individual’s dedication to improve.
“It’s incredible to be a part of such an amazing program,” says Adams. “Students at Mount A are dedicated in whatever they throw themselves into, which is why I’m not surprised that the badminton program excels.”
Adams began playing badminton at the age of eight, competing on club teams and then continuing into junior high and high school. But her efforts were focused on swimming, volleyball, triathlon, and track. Badminton didn’t become her main sport until she arrived at Mount Allison.
“I love that you always have to be on your game, otherwise you fall behind pretty quickly in points because it is such a quick sport,” she says. “There is also such an amazing team aspect, even though many of the events are individual.”
She was named the Badminton Mounties female rookie of the year in her first year and last year earned female MVP honours. She has been a CCAA Academic All-Canadian for the past three years and qualified for the national championships the past two years — last year with Morrisey in mixed doubles.
“Playing doubles, there is always pressure to perform,” she says, “not only for yourself, but for your partner.”
Morrisey, a Commerce student and dual sport varsity athlete in both soccer and badminton, began playing badminton competitively at the age of 13. At Mount Allison, he has qualified for nationals for three years and has been part of the all-star team each year. Last year he won both the Badminton Mounties male MVP award and ACAA Badminton Player of the Year. He’s been named a CCAA All-Canadian, as well as an Academic All-Canadian, during his tenure.
“Mixed doubles is probably my favourite event,” he says. “It allows me to park in the back of the court, see everything going on, and provides me with ample amount of time to find the holes and hit my shots.”
The Badminton Mounties are headed to the ACAA Championships to defend their title on Feb. 17 with the CCAA National Qualifiers taking place on Feb. 18 at Holland College. Live stream is available at acaatv.ca