Jennifer Mills (nee Wong), who captured four Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association gold medals in Badminton, was inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Athlete Category.
The Douglas Royals standout student-athlete earned CCAA gold in Women’s Singles (1997, 1998), Women’s Doubles (1999) and Mixed Doubles (2001). She also led the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association (BCCAA, now PACWEST) to Team Supremacy titles in 1997 and 1998.
Mills was the first student-athlete to be named CCAA Women’s Badminton Player of the Year in 1997. She also captured the award in 2001, her final season with Douglas.
“Jennifer’s storied success as a four time CCAA gold medalist and two time CCAA Player of the Year, is unparalleled with any other student-athlete in Royals history,” said Brian McLennon, Athletics Manager at Douglas College.
“Jennifer has made an outstanding contribution to the BCCAA/PACWEST, the CCAA and the sport of badminton through her inspiring play and achievements.”
During Mills’ playing days, the BCCAA always had strong teams at CCAA Nationals with multiple institutions represented. After battling each other throughout the regular season, players from the province were always able to come together and support each other at Nationals, according to Mills.
“A lot of our teams and coaches knew each other from competing outside of the CCAA, but playing on the same team bonded us and created a lot of friendships,” she said.
The student-athletes would find unique ways to come together as teammates.
“We'd always find some sort of activity that such as matching outfits, dying our hair, or playing pranks on each other, to bring our team together.”
Mills also loved meeting and getting to know other competitors from across the country. They’d even trade tips on how to improve their game and would cheer each other on – as long as they weren’t playing someone from their province.
“There were several people from different provinces that made nationals the same years I did and by the end, we had great respect and friendship for each other,” said Mills.
Mills has nothing but fond memories of her time in the BCCAA and CCAA.
“What I remember most is how much fun our teams had, both at provincials and nationals, and how our coaches pushed us during training to make us better than we thought we could be and supported us on and off the courts.”