Takeisha and Desmond Wang of Concordia University of Edmonton have made Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Badminton history.
Takeisha and Desmond have been named CCAA Female Badminton Player of the Year and CCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year, respectively. The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) student-athletes are the first siblings to earn the distinction in the same season.
They were honoured at the 2019 CCAA Badminton National Championships, hosted by Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Truro, NS.
"Takeisha and Desmond are both extremely talented and well deserving of their CCAA Player of the Year selections," said Jordan Richey, CCAA Badminton Convenor. "They dominated conference play this year, allowing the Concordia Thunder to capture the ACAC Team Championship for the first time in 10 years."
Takeisha and Desmond each went undefeated in ACAC play: The Wangs teamed up for a perfect 8-0 record in Mixed Doubles, Takeisha went 9-0 in Women's Singles and Desmond was 9-0 in Men's Doubles.
At the ACAC Badminton Championships, the Wangs were victorious in Mixed Doubles and helped end the NAIT Ooks' eight-year run with a team title as well.
The siblings also recently competed at the 2019 Yonex Canadian National Championships, each earning fourth-place finishes in Women's and Men's Doubles.
In addition to their volunteer work at Concordia, they also coach at the B-Active Badminton Club in Edmonton, AB.
Takeisha and Desmond, who earned gold in Women's and Men's Singles, respectively, at the 2018 CCAA Badminton National Championships on home soil at Concordia, will compete together at this year's event in Mixed Doubles.
"It is a remarkable to have siblings playing on the same team and both dominating the way they are," said Richey. "The fact that both players were CCAA National singles champions last year at the same time and now return to this year's National Championship playing Mixed Doubles together – having each been named CCAA Player of the year – is just awesome."
To add to the fairytale story, Takeisha and Desmond's father Wen Wang is also a former CCAA champion. Wen captured CCAA Men's Singles National Championship titles in 1989, 1990 and 1991 for Grant MacEwan College (now MacEwan University).
Just as impressive as their play on the court, Takeisha and Desmond are committed to their academics as students. Both maintained honours averages this season while playing arguably the best badminton of their careers.
"This is a bit unique for a brother and sister to play together, and not something they have ever really had the chance to do in their career," said Joel Mrak, Athletics Director at Concordia University of Edmonton. "It is pretty fitting that they are both recognized as CCAA Players of the Year and will go down in history as the first sibling duo to accomplish this in the CCAA."
CCAA Player of the Year winners receive a customized ring provided by Jostens Canada, the Official Ring Supplier of the CCAA Championship Awards Banquet.
Other nominees for the CCAA Female Badminton Player of the Year award were Rachel Wong of the UTM Eagles (OCAA) and Sam Lawther of the UKC Blue Devils (ACAA). Other nominees for the CCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year award were Ramnish Kumar of the Humber Hawks (OCAA) and Sam White of the UKC Blue Devils (ACAA).