Neuqua Valley badminton player Shruti Panse has worked hard to be come a top player on the court and in the community! Learn more in this Off the Field presented by Advantage Acura.
“I feel like I’m making a big difference in my community and helping people around me which is always a great feeling.”
Neuqua Valley Badminton senior standout Shruti Panse has much more on her daily schedule in addition to her daily schoolwork and smashing birdies across the court. The Wildcat has branched out in other ways as well, as hosting Naperville’s first ever Hispanic Heritage Festival, being a student representative of the Sister City Commission of Naperville and serving as Vice President of the Youth and Government Club.
“It’s really important to me especially as an Indian American have that representation and have festivals to kinda celebrate those moments for them so it was a really cool experience being a part of that inaugural one. And I’m on the sisters city commission again this year so I’m excited to get planning and make cool improvements for next years festival too.”
With the Sister City Commission, Panse and the organization work to develop relations with other cities like Cancun, Mexico and Nitra, Slovakia. The group just recently donated a decommissioned Naperville ambulance to Cancun. So, while doing all this, along with school, and performing as a varsity athlete, the 2021 singles state qualifier looks at these responsibilities as more opportunities to succeed.
“For me I enjoy all the things I do I love playing Badminton I love being part of the sisters city commission so to me it’s kinda like enjoyment doing something that I enjoy doing so I guess it’s just balancing and just doing it.”
As one of the top-returning players in the state, her accomplishments continue to impress third year head coach Nick Benson. He knew that Panse had the makings of a well-rounded student athlete once she stepped into Neuqua Valley.
“She always puts others in front of herself and the fact that she’s looking to improve not only in her local community but you know relationships with other countries is pretty amazing and the fact that she’s a leader in that is not surprising at all.”
These events do happen year-round, and Panse has more plans set up for the down the road.
“I’m trying to start up pen pal program between our city and Cancun so that’s kinda like in the works and we’re trying to figure out how to exactly make that happen but essentially it’ll be just kids from our city just communicating via letter to kids from other communities just to get them involved.”
While continuing to make her city and her school a better place, the time is now to help the Wildcats badminton team battle for another state trophy after tying for third place a year ago. Regardless of the final results this spring, all the hard work for the senior on the court and off has proven to be well worth the effort during her time wearing the blue and gold.
Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Patrick Codo.