Haramara Gaitan is a woman on a mission – the Mexican player is burning with desire to make the sport “that taught her how to overcome adversity” more popular in her home nation.
A keen athlete from a young age, it was love at first sight when the now 23-year-old came across badminton while playing basketball as a child. Smitten, she picked it up pretty much immediately.
“I saw it and loved how hard it was. From there, I started practicing and I really enjoy playing badminton,” Gaitan, who plays singles, doubles and mixed doubles disclosed to Badminton Pan Am Confederation recently.
It wasn’t long before Gaitan realised the sport had plenty to offer.
She added: “The sport helped open my eyes.
“I see sport as a platform to achieve my goals and have been able to assess the situation I find myself in thanks to travelling to different countries through badminton.
“Most importantly, badminton has taught me to be patient and how to overcome any adversity.”
Gaitan has big goals in the sport, one of it being qualification to an Olympic Games. Also high on the agenda – make more Mexicans pick up a racket in future.
“I would love to contribute to making it a more popular sport (competitively and recreationally) like in Europe, and that universities and clubs join in playing badminton leagues,” she enthused.
“I have learned to enjoy the process (of travelling and competing in different countries) and I’m grateful to the people who helped me. We keep going.”
** First published by Badminton Pan Am