I have to confess, I assumed Arlo was an employee at EZ Box because I always saw him at Harry’s shop. It turns out it’s like his . A tournament organiser and player, he was inspired to pick up badminton after watching legendary Indonesian player Taufik Hidayat. We caught up at the new courts with Sydney Badminton Players to learn more.
How did you get into badminton? Just friends. I was playing soccer first but in year 12 I gradually started playing badminton.
What are your thoughts on strings and string tension? That’s the most important part besides shoes in badminton. You can get a very expensive racket but you hit with your strings. And with your tension, it has to be to your own accord, you cannot just copy someone else. It might sound cool to have a high tension but if you can’t use it properly, you’ll just injure yourself.
What’s your playing style? I’m pretty sure I’m the laziest player you’ll ever see on the court. Cos when I play with my friends I’m pretty much the slowest one.
Have you ever hit someone with your racket? [pauses and smiles] I better say no.
How can we improve the profile of badminton in Australia? Well badminton is an expensive sport. It’s a very expensive sport, especially the shuttle prices. I know with the currency it’s hard…also stringing because labour costs in Australia is very expensive. In Asia, labour basically costs nothing so that’s the biggest difference there.
Badminton as a sport in Australia isn’t as big, the national team doesn’t get as much funding so maybe we can start looking into that. It’s expensive to train full time if you’re not sponsored…you have to get a job as well. In Asia you get paid to train so your everyday life is guaranteed, it’s sort of a job as well. But in Australia you have to fund yourself plus maybe pay for your training so it’s like a double cost.
What was the last competition you played? The Newcastle Open and I was just there for the road trip, that’s all. There they don’t let me play any lower grades…they made me play Open.
Would you play mixed doubles with your spouse or partner? Hmm competition-wise I try not to do it because it might create more problems if the match doesn’t go as you want it. Cos it will bring home problem to court and court problem to home [looks thoughtful] I’ve experienced that too much in the past.
Have you ever been intimidated? Yes I have. Until today I haven’t dealt with it. Pretty much try to get better.
If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be? No-one else. No-one else if it’s just for a day.