Badminton star Priyanna Ramdhani graduates with distinction from Olds College

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By Avenash Ramzan

avenash@newsroom.gy

Guyana’s number one ranked female badminton player Priyanna Ramdhani has graduated with distinction from Olds College in Canada.

The 20-year-old earned an overall Grade Point Average of 3.8 in Business Management/Sports Management Major, which she pursued over the last three years on scholarship.

In an exclusive interview with News Room Sport, Priyanna, who was a triple gold medallist twice at the Caribbean Junior Championship in 2018 and 2019, described the honour of graduating with distinction “a huge accomplishment for me.”

“I am beyond excited that I was able to graduate with a distinction and I hope I can continue to maintain this in the future,” she expressed.

“This achievement means a lot to me, because I dedicate this to my dad who worked hard to ensure that my brother (Narayan, also a badminton player) and I balanced academics and sports. This is also a motivation for myself on what I can accomplish in the future despite challenges.”

Priyanna (centre) and Narayan (back) lost their father in October 2021. At left is mother Emilia

Losing a father

In October 2021, the national athlete and her family were devastated by the sudden passing of her father Gokarn, who was at the time living with Priyanna and Narayan in Canada as they pursued academic and badminton advancement.

Gokarn suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 56.

At the time of his death, he was the president of the Guyana Badminton Association, the country’s national coach and the Head Coach of Olds College.

Notably, this last semester was Priyanna’s best, as she obtained a GPA of 4.0 for the first time, something her father challenged her to achieve just weeks before he died.

“It was definitely a difficult time losing my dad, but he always motivated me to accomplish well in both academics and sports,” Priyanna, who is a four-time Junior Pan Am bronze medallist, related.

“He always told me that I needed to make sure I do well in school, and a few weeks before he passed he mentioned to me that I should try and obtain a 4.0 GPA for this semester being a student/athlete on scholarship. I worked hard to make sure I achieved a 4.0 GPA just for him and I did!”

“I’m sure he is happy with the results and wishing he can post about it on social media, but I’m sure wherever he is, he is boasting to his newly acquired friends.”

Priyanna Ramdhani in action

Balancing academics and badminton

Priyanna’s success was not only in the classroom during the last three years, but also on the badminton court.

She copped the National Scholar Award and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Academic Athletic Award for years 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022.

“Balancing academics and badminton was tough for me at times, but I managed to maintain a schedule which I followed to succeed in both badminton and academics. Whenever I was off the badminton court, I was studying and completing assignments late at nights because I tend to focus better on school around midnight,” Priyanna highlighted.

The student/athlete, a two-time National Sports Commission’s Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year, will now proceed on a one-year break from academics, before pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Sports Management.

Priyanna Ramdhani copped a number of awards during the three years at Olds College

COLLEGE AWARDS:

2019-2020: Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Academic Athletic Award

2019-2020: Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Scholar Award

2019-2020: ACAC All Conference Award

2019-2020: Olds College Badminton Female Rookie-of-the-Year

2019-2020: Olds College Overall Female Rookie of the Year

2019-2022: ACAC Provincials- Silver

2019-2022: CCAA Nationals- fourth place

2020-2021: Olds College Badminton Impact Athlete-of-the-Year

2021-2022: CCAA National Scholar Award

2021-2022: ACAC Academic Athletic Award

2021-2022: CCAA Nationals- Bronze

2021-2022: ACAC Provincials- Bronze x2 and Silver

2021-2022: ACAC All Conference Award

2021-2022: Olds College Badminton Athlete-of-the-Year

2021-2022: Olds College Overall Athlete-of-the-Year

2021-2022: Minor Official-of-the-Year Award

2021-2022: Certificate of Achievement

Career at a glance

Guyana Current National Ranking – No. 1

Current Senior Caribbean Ranking- No. 2

Highest World Junior Ranking- No. 92

South American Youth Games Ranking- No. 4

Caribbean International Under-19 Ranking (Triple Champion)- No. 1

Caribbean International Under-17 Ranking (Triple Champion)- No. 1

Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year 2012

Runner-up Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year 2013

Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year 2018

Bronze at Pan Am Junior Championship 2010

Bronze at Pan Am Junior Championship 2011

Two Bronze at Pan Am Junior Championship 2012

Three Gold (Triple Champion) at Caribbean Junior Championship 2018

Three Gold (Triple Champion) at Caribbean Junior Championship 2019

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