Indonesian men’s singles player, Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo has an interesting story related to his journey to become a professional badminton player. He admits that he started badminton training on a concrete court, and now dreams of bringing Papuan badminton to the global level.
Chico was born in Jayapura, Papua on 15 June 1998. He is currently a rising star in the badminton world, especially after winning the Malaysia Masters 2022 and becoming runner-up at the Indonesia Masters 2023.
Despite his achievements, Chico is mainly known for being a player from the eastern part of Indonesia, namely Jayapura, Papua. This is because, for the first time there is a world-class badminton player from Papua.
Before reaching this level, it was certainly not an easy path for Chico to shine in the country, because badminton in Indonesia is usually dominated by Java. However, this did not discourage the 24-year-old player.
Chico was first introduced to badminton by his father and began to seriously pursue badminton at grade 3 of primary school. Joining the PB Cendrawasih club, called PB Pemda Papua at the time, made Chico train rigorously to catch up to his peers in Java.
However, it is certainly not an easy thing for Chico to train in Papua, whose badminton facilities were a far cry from those in Java. Training three times a week, the brother of Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo has undergone rigorous and risky training on a concrete field.
“There are definitely differences, firstly from the facilities. The facilities are different. Yes, like the field, if it is carpeted here, it is still concrete there. So, we used to train on a concrete field,” Chico told MNC Portal Indonesia on Friday (10/3/2023).
However, all the hard and risky training made the 2016 Junior World Championship silver medallist stronger. The fire in his belly grew when other badminton players in Jayapura, both migrants and indigenous Papuans, turned out to also be highly skilled.
“There are actually good players there too. When I see them, I am also amazed. When I saw them play as a child, it motivated me,” continued Chico.
In short, Chico finally managed to get into the spotlight when he frequently participated in national tournaments such as O2SN (National Student Sports Olympics). Until finally, he joined a club in Jakarta, PB Exist (this time called Mansion Exist) after accepting an invitation from Gabriela Meilani Moningka, a Papuan friend in 2013.
It did not take long for Chico to adapt quickly. Although he was far away from his parents, it did not dampen his determination to pursue his choice of badminton.
“Adapting (in Jakarta), Alhamdulillah, it’s okay because my seniors and friends welcomed me. I am also used to being independent,” Chico explains.
His struggle was rewarded when he was able to break through the PBSI National Pelatnas in 2015 with the status of an apprentice. Then in mid-2016, he officially joined the Cipayung squad. He was selected for the Junior World Championship squad that year and won a silver medal.
Since then, the son of Papua has made his way to the global level. Although it was a slow climb, Chico is now a highly regarded men’s singles player.
Chico’s biggest hope is of course to prove that Papua also has badminton players who can shine on the world stage. His biggest wish is to bring the name of his homeland to the Olympic stage, especially in badminton.
“Yes, there is definitely a sense of wanting to prove that Papua can also compete in badminton, especially at the global level. My main target is to play in the Olympics. Then I certainly want to be in the world’s top 10,” he concluded.