Karina Magana was a successful high school badminton player in her native Lima, Peru. She played from age 13-17 and later went to college and started a family in the United States.
She did not
play the sport for about 33 years, until about two years ago, when some of her
friends back home encouraged her to get back on the court.
beginning, I wondered if I could still even hit,’’ said Magana, a Valley
resident who attended the University of California-Berkeley and St. Mary’s
College in nearby Moraga, Calif. “It began to come back to me.’’
quickly realized “that I needed to train seriously’’ if she would be capable of
earning medals while playing against tougher competition.
playing again at the AZBC (Arizona Badminton Center) in Mesa. About that same
time, she joined the Xavier Prep coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach
and is entering her third season this fall.
she continues to play competitively and has earned several medals in national
and international competition, including Gold in the recent European Masters
Games in Turin, Italy. She plays both singles and doubles.
her eye on a possible spot in the Pan American Masters Games in September 2020
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the sport must be approved first.
those tournaments is a lot of fun, a great experience. You get to meet people
from all over the world,’’ she said.
three children who are athletically oriented. Nicholas was a swimmer at
Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High, swam at the University of Virginia and became
a dual citizen with Peru and swam for the Peruvian Olympic team in Rio during
the 2016 Games before being sidelined by illness.
Francesca also was a swimmer at Desert Mountain and went on to swim at the University
of Idaho. And a second son, Diego, was a four-year starter in basketball at
Desert Mountain before going on to play at Amherst in Massachusetts.
Magana and her children lost husband and father Daryl to cancer.
emotional and still is,’’ she said. “There are always going to be obstacles in
life. That’s what I try to tell the girls here.’’
badminton coach Laura Forbes is glad to receive help from an experienced player
such as Magana, and the Xavier players have formed a close bond with her.
love her,’’ Forbes said.
feels the same about them.
are great,’’ she said. “They are very interested in the game. They want to be
here and they want to improve. You can see the improvement in some of them from
last year to this year.’’
them with the skills they need to be successful such as swinging the racquet in
the correct way and footwork, and offers them some advice on the mental aspect.
some nervousness and that is to be expected,’’ she said. “We all get nervous,
even our opponents. I get it, too, even after all this time. You have to be
able to not get stressed out, to be able to control it. When you’re out on the
court, don’t look at your opponent – focus on the bird.’’
some people might not think so, badminton requires being in condition.
going to need it,’’ she said, “with all the sprinting back and forth across the
The type of
experience that Magana can pass along is proving to be invaluable for the