Schueler aims to make a racket
AUSTRALIA’S 10-strong team of badminton selections for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will aim to end a gold medal drought dating back to 1994.
Among the 10 ‘Falcons’ is Grovedale-born Jacob Schueler who will make his Commonwealth Games debut along with seven other members of his team.
“I’m feeling good, excited, happy,” Schueler said.
“I’m just glad to have made the team, now, the focus is on performing when I get there.
“I’ve played the Sudirman Cup and the Thomas Cup, but this is my first major tournament and it’s definitely at the top of my list of achievements.”
Having grown up in Geelong and played at Ocean Grove Badminton Club until the age of 16, Schueler was lucky enough to earn a scholarship in the sport at Maribyrnong College Sports Academy.
Ever since, Schueler travels back and forth between Geelong and Melbourne chasing his dream of winning a gold medal.
“Ocean Grove Badminton Club were really supportive in getting me to actually play the sport and go for it, so they really helped with things such as moving schools and supporting my travel which really started my career,” Schueler said.
The 24-year-old’s training has been rigorous the last couple of months and will continue to be so until competition begins on July 29 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
“At the moment, I’m doing nine on-court sessions and three gym sessions each week, which we will continue doing right up until we start tapering off about two weeks before the Games,” Schueler added.
“As a team we’re surrounded by good people and we’re all good friends already. Everyone has just arrived to Melbourne and we’ll have five weeks to really prepare before we head to the Dutch National Centre and get used to the time zone there.”
The goal is to finish as high as possible for the Games debutant with powerhouses like Malaysia looming prior to the draw.
Despite some tough opposition in the distance, Jacob know the strong support he has back at home will motivate him to put on a strong showing.
“My parents who still live in Geelong will be coming over, which will be awesome, but knowing the club back at home will be cheering me on will be a great feeling.”