Okay, so I didn't quite ask for Jeff's approval before I decided to write this post about him but let's see if I can make this happen.
My co-founder of Volant, Jeffrey Tho was born in April 1988, in Ipoh, Malaysia. He spent his youth in sunny Bendigo, Victoria when his parents migrated to Australia around 4 months after he was born, and challenged himself with various sports growing up until he was introduced to badminton.
If you're curious to hear more about Jeff's start in badminton and how he achieved so much, I would suggest you listen to our podcast episode where we dive a little deeper:
His rise was swift, having achieved many awards for the sport and held the No.1 Men's Singles player in Australia position from 2008-2012. Although, his rise was swift, it's important to recognise that his hard work and dedication to the process is what delivered his results. He has most notably competed at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games. Before commencing University, Jeff took 3 years off to devote himself fully to badminton in the hopes of qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2014, he won the gold medal at the Oceania Championships in the men's singles event and he also won bronze in 2008.
Not only was Jeff achieving on the badminton court, he was also achieving academically and professionally. He successfully completed his Bachelor of Dental Science to become a fully qualified dentist in 2013 and became a dental practice owner shortly after. Since then, Jeff has sold his dental practice, continued to practice as a dentist, become a demonstrator at Melbourne University, a business coach for dental businesses and my co-founder of Volant Wear. More recently, he was given the opportunity to coach the Australian team at the 2019 World Championships in Basel, Switzerland. If you'd like to get some insights as to what that would was like and how coaching compares to playing professionally, have a listen of this podcast episode we recorded:
Unfortunately, since having hip surgery in 2015, he has competing professionally but remained within the badminton scenes of Melbourne. Although I don't have any footage of just how good Jeff was back then, I can assure you that there were very few players in Australia that could compete with him. Lucky for the Melbourne badminton world, Jeff temporarily stepped out of retirement in November to enter a tournament on behalf of our brand.
Are you curious to see what Jeff can do these days?
In this video he plays off in the A grade Men’s Singles final against Mark Sotea. It’s an all Volant affair that begins at 0:49 for those who want to get straight into it.
Last year in August, I was lucky enough to travel to Basel, Switzerland to coach the Australian Team at the 2019 World Championships.
Being a former player that has competed at such tournaments such as the World Championships, I found that the experience was vastly different as a coach compared to an athlete.