“One of my most cherished moments at ISKL was when they handed me that gold medal after the AIMS match. It felt like a huge recognition for all the hard work I’ve put in physically and emotionally. “
Meet Varuni S. (’29), a Grade 7 student who recently won gold at the AIMS U13 Girls Singles Badminton tournament. When not playing badminton, she enjoys exploring her creative side through music, dance, or experimenting with art mediums.
Here is Varuni’s story:
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I was born in the vibrant city of New Delhi, India, but my first few years unfolded in the state of Tamil Nadu. Although my memories from those early years are a bit hazy, I still have kept my diverse Indian culture within me! I have an older sister who is currently navigating her final year here, and she is also a Panther of ISKL!
Which grade did you join ISKL? What were your first days of school like?
I became a part of the ISKL community in Grade 4, starting my unique journey during the challenging times of 2020. The initial days were a blend of online classes and Covid protocols. Still, even with this challenging start, as the school opened up more, I sincerely appreciated the warm and inclusive ISKL community.
We understand you play badminton, please tell us more.
Badminton holds a special place in my heart; it’s no longer just a hobby but a journey of ups and downs, finding myself and meeting new people. It is also not just a sport for me; it’s a passion that has been a part of my life since I was six.
What started as a curiosity of watching my dad and sister play evolved into hours of dedicated practice within the house walls. Upon moving to Kuala Lumpur, my interest in badminton found a new level of expression. Sunday matches with a vibrant community and guidance from the ISKL’s Girls Varsity Coach, Coach Daphne, shaped my skills. The transition to competitive badminton brought challenges of pressure and worry.
One of my most cherished moments at ISKL was when they handed me that gold medal after the AIMS match. It felt like a huge recognition for all the hard work I’ve put in physically and emotionally. Those days of sore arms and legs, yet still climbing school stairs, the moments I felt like giving up because everything seemed tough—it all felt worth it in that shining moment of achievement.
Do you participate in any co-curricular activities at ISKL?
Participating in co-curricular activities is my way of growing and complementing the academics of the school day. From fighting for environmental causes in the Better Planet Club to exploring my artistic side through activities like macrame and helping others by being a Peer Helper, my journey is marked by a diverse set of After School Activities (ASAs).
In the current academic year, I have enthusiastically embraced competitive badminton and dance ASAs, showcasing my versatility in sports and creative movement.
Can you tell us more about your other hobbies and interests?
Beyond the badminton court, my interests span a large spectrum of creativity. Whether diving into the world of music, experimenting with various art media, or expressing myself through dance, each hobby contributes to my identity. Playing all types of recorders, from the sopranissimo to the bass, adds a musical dimension to me.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
In the future, I want to be a well-rounded person. Being determined, hardworking, and kind is high on my list. I dream of helping people around me become good global citizens and make this world happier.
Who or what inspires you or has influenced you?
Lots of awesome people have inspired me and shaped who I am. My parents are like my cheerleaders, constantly pushing me to improve and try new things. My older sister is a total rockstar—she works super hard and even got an RBG award! She’s my role model, and I want to be as amazing as her. Also, my badminton coaches, Coach Daphne and Coach Nicole, are my motivators. They’ve taught me never to give up because things can change when you least expect it.
What does “Know yourself, care for all, and create a better world” “mean to you?
In my own words, “know yourself” means understanding where you fit in the world and being aware of your choices. After you figure yourself out, the next part is “care for all.” That’s like helping others discover themselves, just like you did so that together, we can all work towards “creating a better world.”
Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.