The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)
is proud to induct 10 new members into its Hall of Fame.
The 2019 CCAA Hall of Fame Banquet will be hosted by the
Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) on June 11 in Calgary.
Wen Wang, who earned three consecutive CCAA Badminton National Championship gold medals, will be inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Athlete Category.
Wang captured CCAA Men's Singles titles for Grant MacEwan Community College (now MacEwan University) in 1989, 1990 and 1991 and led Team Alberta to three straight team championships.
While studying at MacEwan, Wang also won the Canadian Men's Singles Championship (1990). He went on to claim national titles in 1994 and 1997 as well. From 1988 to 1997, Wang was the top badminton player in North America, achieving a world ranking of No. 20.
"Wen had an impactful career while being a student-athlete," said Ken Schildroth, Director of Athletics at MacEwan University. "He was a fabulous badminton competitor while he represented MacEwan and has been included in our Wall of Distinction."
Early in his time at MacEwan, Wang and the Griffins were challenged by the Canadian National team, which featured many of Canada's top players. Nonetheless, MacEwan pushed through and played some of the best matches in their collegiate careers, defeating the national team.
"At that moment, I had felt so proud because of how much we had progressed as a team, and it was to the extent to where we could measure up to Canada's top players," said Wang.
One of his fondest memories of his time in the ACAC and CCAA is meeting his wife Shirley Mah through collegiate badminton. While Wang was a student-athlete at MacEwan, his future wife was playing for the NAIT Ooks.
"We had initially met through ACAC competitions, and later we were able to both qualify for the CCAA National Championships," said Wang. That year, both Wen and Shirley medaled at Nationals.
"This was my most memorable year of the three years that I competed in the CCAA and ACAC," he said.
Wen and Shirley's children, meanwhile, are in the midst of tremendous CCAA careers of their own. Takeisha (Women's Singles) and Desmond (Men's Singles) of Concordia University of Edmonton were crowned champions at the 2018 CCAA Badminton National Championships.
This season, Takeisha was named CCAA Women's Badminton Player of the Year, while Desmond earned CCAA Men's Badminton Player of the Year honours. After dominating at the 2019 CCAA Badminton awards banquet, the siblings conquered on the court, earning gold together in Mixed Doubles.
Nowadays, Wang is the head professional coach at the B-Active Badminton Club in Edmonton. Takeisha and Desmond are also coaches at the club.
Wang emphasizes to his players the importance of a strong team dynamic in the sport, something he learned during his time at MacEwan.
"By being able to participate in the ACAC and CCAA, I learned how to be a team player, and how to support my teammates in training and competition," said Wang. "I also developed the leadership skills that I needed to be a badminton coach later on."