Ex-Australian national and state players, Jeff Tho and Henry Wong are two years into their quest to create the world’s best badminton podcast.
Their stories capture a wide range of topics in badminton, from dealing with injuries and expert advice from physiotherapists, the operations of a Continental Confederation and top tips from able-bodied and Para badminton coaches.
Earlier this year, they caught the attention of the BWF as they were contracted to deliver ‘The Tokyo 2020’ show – a daily podcast (which also featured as a video) which recapped all of the action for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from that day.
“It was a fantastic experience and tiring at the same time. Both Henry and I took time off our regular jobs so that we could watch every match – often on 2-3 screens at the same time. We both found a new appreciation of video production – there is so much preparation and behind the scenes work that we knew existed, but didn’t know how demanding it was.”, said Jeff.
“It was very different to just watching badminton! It was watching badminton with intent and analysing so it did take a lot of concentration because the results of what we watched was used to guide what we would talk about in the next episode. Because there were so many upsets as you might expect, what we thought would happen (for example, Momota losing to Heo Kwang-Hee) became a focus of the show and we’d have to adapt very quickly given the short time window”, says Henry.
They also caught the eyes of other players, who were inspired by their success on-air. Fellow and neighboring players, Gronya Somerville (Australia) and Justine Villegas (New Zealand) were looking to start their own podcast (called Badminton Lights Out) and reached out for a collaboration while they learn the ropes and carve their way into the podcast scene.
“Gronya and Justine wanted to start their own podcast but didn’t know how to get started. So rather than start from scratch, we offered to help them by featuring an episode of The Badminton Podcast (thus, their episodes are titled: TBP ft Badminton Lights Out). That way, they could have access to the listener base that we already had. We also will publish their episodes for them on our podcast streaming platform”, said Henry.
While listeners can expect to hear guest interviews and badminton stories on The Badminton Podcast, they can also expect to hear lively conversation between Justine and Gronya as they navigate the life of a professional badminton player on Badminton Lights Out– you can listen to their first episode here.
Combined, they plan to offer listeners a broader range of topics and also tap into different audiences that we haven’t been able to access information through the podcast medium.
Given the current COVID-19 situation, Jeff and Henry feel optimistic that their conversations came at the right time:
“I think podcasts are a great way to learn, teach, express and entertain. Under the current lockdown situation globally, I think people are looking for ways to connect with one another and podcasts, especially ones that resonate well with the listener are a great way to do that. The beauty of listening to podcasts as well is that you can get very specific in the topic you’d like to listen to no matter how niche it might be”, says Henry.
Find out more about The Badminton Podcast, including links to listen to some of their episodes here.