Patricia and Jan Salceda don’t always see eye-to-eye on the badminton court, but the sister and brother tandem managed to get along well enough to win a provincial mixed doubles championship for Sisler High School.
Patricia, a Grade 12 student, and Jan, who’s in Grade 10, decided to take one last run at a pair of gold medals after finishing second last year.
The Tyndall Park siblings went undefeated, including a 21-19, 21-10 victory over a duo from Carman in the final, to win their first high school championship.
"Our parents convinced us (to play together) since it was Patricia’s last year," said Jan. "We wanted to win a gold for her."
Patricia tells a slightly different story, saying that she "thought it was a great idea" to play with her brother. This despite the pair’s tendency, like many siblings, to get on each other’s nerves.
"We always fight on the court," Patricia said. "We blame each other when we lose a point. It’s still an issue, but it doesn’t happen as often. I just wanted to try to have fun this time."
Jan said he and his sister have matured quite a bit since they first teamed up as a doubles pair.
"We’ve grown up," he said. "We’ve learned how to communicate better."
That improved communication played a big part in making the Salcedas provincial champions. It also didn’t hurt that both players were willing to change their style of play to suit the doubles game.
"I definitely play differently," Patricia said. "I like to scream a lot when I play, but he gets mad when I do that."
For his part, Jan said he alters his positioning in order to always be there to back up his sister.
Coach Jan Watters said the Salcedas’ victory marked just the second-ever badminton title for Winnipeg School Division athletes.
The Salcedas first got into badminton in their native Philippines when their parents introduced them to the sport at an early age. Patricia was nine and Jan was seven when the family moved to Canada.
They continue to play twice a week with the Rockets Badminton Club at Maples Collegiate, and are hoping to represent Manitoba at the upcoming Canada Winter Games.
With his sister graduated, Jan doesn’t expect to be defending the mixed doubles championship next year. He’s already planning to take a run at the boys’ singles crown.