Felix Tessier’s favourite badminton shot is the overhead smash.
Since he began playing the sport four years ago, the Grade 10 Collège Régional Gabrielle-Roy student has been smashing his way to the top.
At the City Junior Open on Oct. 18-19, the 15 year old, who plays out of the Winnipeg Winter Club, won the U19 singles and U19 boys’ doubles titles (teaming with Paul Brown for the latter). He also earned a silver medal in mixed doubles, playing with Colleen Gillespie.
He discovered the sport in his school gym class.
"I really liked it because I really like smashing," Tessier said. "I tried playing badminton and hockey at the same time during the same season but it became a little too much."
So Tessier had to choose. He said the decision was tough because "all my friends play hockey."
"I think they understand," Tessier said. "But they still all think hockey is a better sport, obviously."
The City Junior Open wasn’t Tessier’s first rodeo; he has travelled all across the country playing in national tournaments, often against players older than himself.
"I like going to places like Moncton, B.C, Calgary — places like that because there is a lot to do there while you aren’t playing," Tessier said. "Going to places like Saskatoon, it’s just not too fun. But I enjoy most of it because I’m with friends."
Being successful at badminton means a lot of training.
"It gives me way less time to do my homework and to study," Tessier said. "It’s hard to balance both but it is possible."
Tessier plans on playing badminton for as long as possible, and to make the Canadian team for the junior Pan-American games in July 2014.