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Local badminton player smashes competition on Ontario college scene

Newmarket-born Timothy Lock credits run of success to support from family, coaches; Humber College player recently earned OCAA rookie of the year honours
York Region native Timothy Lock earned rookie of the year honours with the OCAA.

Badminton has long been the sport of choice for the family of York Region resident Timothy Lock.

Lock has played his sport since he was eight, with his parents — immigrants from Hong Kong — having also played the sport from a young age. The Markham resident born in Newmarket said he swiftly picked up and grew a passion for the sport, one that has led to him pursuing it competitively.

“My parents and coaches support me, so it motivates me to want to train and get better,” Lock said.

That longtime passion has led the young player to a run of success. Playing for Humber College, he helped his team to the top of the Ontario Colleges Athletics Association (OCCA) and earned a silver medal himself. He was named an OCAA all-star and earned rookie of the year honours with the OCAA in April.

“Lock was instrumental in leading the Humber Hawks to the OCAA men's team title and the west regional championship,” the OCAA said in a news release. “A member of Canada's junior national team, Lock's dedication is on display every day attending Humber practice after class, then heading to practice with the national program.”

The season started off with Locke winning both singles and doubles events in the Humber Cup in October, following that up with a 13-1 record and three podium finishes at the Fanshawe Invitational in November. He would go on to win at the OCAA West regional championships. Two weeks later, he narrowly lost to national champion Colin Zhou for the OCAA gold medal. 

“It was pretty good,” Locke said of his college season. “I went through so many different tournaments and I had pretty good results. I had a lot of support from my family and coaches.”

The college season has wrapped up, but that has not stopped Locke from looking to compete. He won silver at the Mexico International Challenge in mixed doubles earlier this month. 

It was a surprising result, Locke said, with him and his doubles partner, Chloe Hoang, not expecting to get beyond the first round.

“It’s inspired me to play better now. It’s giving me motivation to pursue badminton more,” Locke said. 

He is following in his parents' footsteps, he said, with his mother also being a competitive player in Hong Kong.

The young badminton player has greater aspirations of being an Olympian. He also plans to stay busy this summer, looking to compete in either France or the U.S.

He regularly trains at the Mandarin Badminton Club at home in Markham, which he credits for great training.

“I had a lot of teammates I could spar with and coaches who can improve me,” he said. “There’s many coaches from different countries that come over to improve the game of badminton.”