Badminton star hits a balance between study and sport

Edward Lau competing in the singles competition against Nepal at the Sudirman Cup in China in May 2019.

First-year Bachelor of Sport Management student Edward Lau has his sights set on representing New Zealand on the badminton court in coming years.

With the Badminton World Championships being hosted in Switzerland in August, the 2020 Olympics in Japan and 2022 Commonwealth Games in United Kingdom, Lau has a busy few years ahead, on and off the court. He will be representing New Zealand in October at the World Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia, for the fourth time.

The 18-year-old who was born and bred in Auckland, chose sport management due to his passion for sport and the opportunities it will bring for work after his sporting career.

As well as his studies, the former Auckland Grammar School student wants to represent New Zealand on the badminton court, wherever he can.

“It means a lot to me when I am representing my country as only a few are able to do so. In May, I was fortunate enough to represent New Zealand at the Sudirman Cup in the World Mixed Team Championships in China and have attended three World Junior Championships in Spain, Indonesia and Canada. It has given me a lot of experience that I will look to take advantage of in the coming years,” he says.

Lau’s team placed 26th overall at the Sudirman Cup. The event is considered the biggest mixed team championships, where the world’s best players compete. He received funding from the Travel and Accommodation Fund offered by Massey University. This is open to students who have been selected to represent New Zealand in their sport, and are required to fund a lot of the costs themselves. Academic criteria also apply.

"It’s busy, and tough at times, but all worth it,” Lau says.

"Massey has been wonderful"

Lau is also a member of Massey’s Academy of Sport programme, which provides access to support including on-campus gym membership, sports science services, topical seminars and individually tailored assistance with balancing study and sport.

“Massey has been wonderful – rescheduling assessments and tests so I am able to compete at tournaments while completing my studies. I train early in the morning and at night so I can study during the day. I also train a few hours on the weekend, and make sure I set some time aside to study too. It’s busy, and tough at times, but all worth it,” he says.

Massey University sport coordinator, and New Zealand Under 19 assistant coach, Chris Sharrock says he is a fantastic ambassador for badminton in New Zealand.

“He has lofty ambitions for where a career in badminton can take him, and has an incredible amount of drive to follow through with his goals. Edward’s an astute professional on the court, and is a genuine and thoughtful man off it,” he says.

“While he will face challenges having to juggle his training and travel for tournaments with his studies, he definitely has the ability to push through these, and with the help from the Academy of Sport, I believe Edward will excel in both areas.”

Lau also works part-time by helping out at after school badminton competitions for secondary school students at Badminton North Harbour.

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