Erena Calder Hawkins | Sport2018
I grew up in a strong sporting family and culture which is evident in the young age that my passion for sport began. I started my badminton career on the front lawn with my mum when I was 8 years old and slowly progressed to club and regional levels. I have represented Waikato at both age group and senior levels and I have played for Waikato Division 1 Senior Team in the New Zealand National Championships for 4 years. Along with my passion for sport, I balance my love for science and helping others through my studies at the University of Waikato. I am currently a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar at Waikato University undertaking a bachelor of science majoring in biochemistry and biotechnology. I love badminton and science dearly and I am truly grateful for the opportunities both have provided me.
I have represented New Zealand in the New Zealand U19 Junior Badminton Team which allowed me to compete at the World Junior Championships in Peru (2015) and Spain (2016). Both of these experiences furthered my passion for the sport and the drive to be successful on the international stage. My greatest badminton achievement to date is winning the 2016 Junior Australian International in the Mixed Doubles Championships. 2017 is my first year out of the junior age group and I am privileged to be a member of the New Zealand Senior Badminton Squad that weekly train together in Auckland and travel overseas for competition. Badminton has offered me opportunities a lot greater than physical or monetary benefits, it has helped me develop into the person I want to be – focussed, goal oriented, and committed to anything I undertake. I intend to continue playing and striving to achieve at the highest level I can.