November 17, 2017, by Cara McIsaac-Hall
#NottsGirlsCan – Li Lian Yang
Across the country this week, universities are celebrating females in sport with the This BUCS Girl Can campaign championed by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).
Here at University of Nottingham, we’re featuring a sportswoman every day who we’re proud to have in our #NottsGirlsCan community. From a Team GB athlete to complete beginner they all have one thing in common – sport has been a huge part of their lives and they want to share it with everyone!
Third in our series, we chat to Li Lian Yang, recipient of the Greenaway sports scholarship and the current British Universities badminton singles champion. Now in her second year of a BSc Mathematics and Economics degree, Li Lian is hoping to lead her team to the gold medal when BUCS Big Wednesday heads to Nottingham in March.
I started playing badminton at a very young age. It started as just a fun game on the weekend with my family then became more and more competitive as I started to improve! It’s so easy to fall in love with Badminton once you get the hang of it. It’s so creative – every single game is different even if you’ve played a million times!
What has sport taught you?
Teamwork and self-discipline. I need to ensure I make every training session, even if I’m tired or have other things on – and that requires discipline. And of course even though Badminton can be an individual sport, you can’t train alone. I need my teammates to help me to improve and vice versa so I have to make sure that everyone had a good session training with me!
Do you have a role model in sport?
There’s so many inspiring personalities that I couldn’t possibly choose. So many top sportswomen in the world have unique qualities that I admire and try to emulate in my career.
What’s your favourite memory of sport?
Definitely when I won my first national title at home in Malaysia. To be able to proudly say that I am national champion – that’s the best feeling ever!
Why is sport important to you?
I love to challenge myself and there are no boundaries in sports. Sport keeps my inner competitiveness intact. Also, whether you are a beginner or a professional, it’s always good to exercise and sweat it out! I’ve made friends all over the world through sports and get to travel a lot and experience other cultures which made it easier for me to adapt to new environments.
What do you love most about sport?
I’ve put a lot of effort to be where I am today. So it brings me a lot of happiness and a real sense of accomplishment to know that all my hard work has paid off. Victory, even the smallest match, is really a unique feeling of happiness!
Sport has also opened doors to me that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. I’ve travelled all over the world and made friendships for life.
One piece of advice you’d give?
Go for it and keep persevering girls!
Share your #NottsGirlCan experiences and photos with us on Twitter @UoNSport or Instagram @UoNSport and we’ll share our favourites each day!