Dad’s not a problem


Chan Peng Soon with his family during the recent Chinese New Year celebration

PETALING JAYA: These days, Chan Peng Soon is not just a shuttler – he also wears many hats at home.

From being an online ‘teacher’ to changing diapers and feeding – it’s all in a day’s work for the mixed doubles star.

The 32-year-old has been juggling between his badminton career and parenting of not one, but four children. He’s coping just fine, although there are days when he feels overwhelmed.

Peng Soon has been training diligently with his partner Goh Liu Ying in preparation for the Swiss Open in Basel from March 2-7 and All-England in Birmingham from March 17-21 every day except for Sundays but once he gets home, he helps his wife to take care of Milton (10), Hannah (6), Julian (3) and Leah (10 months).

But the one task that he struggles with the most are the kids' online classes.

“I help Milton and Hannah with their homework, and there are quite a bit of assignments to do, ” said Peng Soon.

“Their homework is not like what I used to do before. Some needs creative thinking, and sometimes, I struggle too. It’s funny right. I’m now like a teacher without a salary!

“Julian has been more clingy since Leah came into the picture too.

“All four of them are different but I love spending time with each one of them. There are times when it becomes overwhelming but I can’t imagine my wife doing it all by herself.”

Peng Soon said he tried to introduce badminton to Milton but has not been successful.

“Milton and Hannah are aware of my career and they will cheer me on during competitions but none of them have picked up any interest yet, ” said Peng Soon.

“I tried taking Milton for training, just for fun. He said he did not want to go because he can’t guarantee that he could win. I was surprised with his answer. He’s young but thinks too much. I’ll not force them to play, it has to come from them.”

As devoted as he is as a father, Peng Soon has been showing the same unwavering commitment in the game with Liu Ying to bring glory for the nation.

“Liu Ying and I want to do well in the Swiss Open and All-England. In the Swiss Open, we are the top seeds, and naturally, we hope to reach the final and try to win the title, ” said Peng Soon, who has been playing with Liu Ying since 2008.

In the Swiss Open that has been shunned by top badminton nations like Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia due to the Covid-19 pandemic, independent shuttlers Peng Soon-Liu Ying are grouped in the top half with third seeds Marcus Ellis-Lauren Smith (Eng), seventh seeds Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich (Ger) and eighth seeds Robin Tabeling-Selena Piek (Ned).

They however, will not overlook a possible early round clash against compatriots Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See in the second round.

“One lesson that we have learnt all these years is to treat every opponent equally. The event may not have many top pairs but we will not take anyone for granted although they are ranked lower than us, ” he said.

“Pang Ron-Yee See did well in Thailand last month, so we will be wary of them.”

While Pang Ron-Yee See made it to their first-ever semi-finals in one of the two Thailand Opens, world No. 7 Peng Soon-Liu Ying did not go beyond the quarter-final hurdles in both Opens in Bangkok and missed on the opportunity to play in the World Tour Finals.

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