Tell us about how you first started playing badminton?
So, I started in my local games hall in Mauchline when I was four. My older sisters played, and it was the classic age-old story of older siblings play a sport and the younger ones join in. We always used to describe it as a cheap way of babysitting for my parents. I started from there really, two or three times a week. I just fell in love with the sport and never really stopped from that point.
How did you first make the move up to the national squad as a junior?
I had a decent pathway actually. I played for my club for about five years before moving onto the School of Sport in Glasgow. I went from there into the juniors and then quickly progressed into the senior squad. So it was a linear pathway really to where I am now.
What would you say is the highlight of your career so far?
That is a tough one. I would probably say, just, when we won the Scottish Open in 2019. That was the happiest I have been at the end of a badminton tournament. I’ve had lots of nice moments but that one sticks out to me. The silver at the Europeans is top three, but there is something about your home tournament. I had been watching the Scottish Open since I was five, so it meant a lot.
What was the experience of competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 like?
The Gold Coast was just amazing throughout. The whole set-up was just ridiculously good. Everything about it – the houses we were in, the food, was all first class. We were out there for four or five weeks so the experience off the court was almost as important as playing. I had a great time out there. It had been a goal of mine for a long while at this point. We played some good badminton, but hopefully this time in Birmingham we can look for medals, rather than just taking part for the experience.
How did you become a doubles specialist with Alex Dunn – did you always prefer it form playing at junior level?
I am a rare case in that I never really liked singles, ever! I’d played it until I was 19, but always preferred doubles and mixed. Even from the age of eight or nine years old I always knew I preferred doubles and I think it brings out the best in me. I’ve always had a badminton brain for that side of the game.
How has the first half of your year been – ahead of both the Commonwealth Games and World Championships?
It has been going well, I think. Me and Julie had a few good runs in the March block, where we were consistently making semi-finals. The Europeans as well were obviously a real confidence boost. Alex and I got our silver, and I think had me and Julie not ran into the eventual winners in the quarter-finals, we could have got even further. I’m hoping to just keep up that level for Birmingham.
What do you like to do away from badminton, how do you switch-off when off the court?
My dog takes up quite a lot of my spare time at the moment and I’ve always been a dog person since I was a kid. Other than that, I love watching pretty much any sport if it’s on. I’m also quite a keen baker and that helps me switch off.
What will the rest of the season look like for you? And what are your aims?
After the Commonwealth Games we obviously don’t have a lot of time before we need to be out in Japan for the World Championships, so that is taking up a lot of the focus at the moment. Then we’ve got Japan Open straight off the back of that so it will be a really busy few months. I’m looking forward to a short holiday just after that. The schedule is a bit less manic towards the end of the year, but we do have the European team qualifiers in December which is also important for the team.
What are your long-term goals for the next five years?
Beyond Birmingham this summer, it is hard to look beyond qualification for Paris 2024. Obviously, it will be difficult but I am up for the challenge. It’s competitive to qualify for Team GB but that is definitely my aim. I also see myself hopefully going to the next Commonwealth Games in 2026. At that point I’ll be 30 so I’ve still hopefully got a lot of time left.