Tell us about your journey into badminton?
I started at my primary school club. My brother started playing, he’s three years older than me. We had quite a good coach at our school, and it became quite popular in our school. As a younger sibling you just follow what your older sibling does, so that’s how I got into it.
How did you first make the step up from playing at junior level to national level?
I was lucky that my partner Adam (Hall) and I were one of the best in Europe through the age-groups. So, the transition kind of played itself. You kind of start again at senior level with no expectations and we had a good start. Then the real situation starts to hit, and we had a few years of starting at the bottom and grinding up to where we are now. We’re still fighting to get to that world-class level but we’re making some good steps.
Tell us about your career highlights so far?
The European medal was amazing (silver in Madrid 2022 men’s doubles). Creating history for Scotland was something quite special. The highlight so far would still be the Scottish Open. We’d lost a final in Ireland the week before and we were quite disappointed, but we were able to bounce back in front of a home crowd. We had quite a tough draw in the Scottish so we felt we could have gone out at any point, with the support and our families being there, it was a very special moment.
How has the last year been for you ‘coming out of covid’?
To be honest, pretty tough, especially for me. I picked up quite a long-term injury in the context of my career. I was out for nine months and trying to come back during Covid-19. With where Adam and I are in the rankings now, it’s top-level tournaments so there’s no real easing into it. We had no rhythm whatsoever. It’s been pretty rocky and has taken a bit of resilience. Hopefully we can learn from those lessons and make a breakthrough.
How is training going?
Everyone’s in pretty good spirits and motivated, as you would be for a massive event like the Commonwealth Games. We’re all preparing well actually, and our coaches are pretty happy with our progress. We’ve still got a few weeks to go to get to the level we’re trying to be at, which is to medal, and those extra few percent could make all the difference.
What are your memories of Gold Coast 2018?
It was an incredible event. I was quite young, and it was my first multi-sport event. It was special but this will be a very different Games in terms of what I expect from ourselves and the team. We were there for the experience last time and if we got a chance to medal, great, but that wasn’t the real focus. This one has more pressure on it.
What are your aims for the rest of 2022?
I guess, to be Commonwealth champion, would be amazing. Straight after Birmingham we’ve got the World Championships and we would like to make some headway in that. We’ve won the odd game there, but we want to win two or three, that has to be the aim.
What are your goals for the next 4-5 years?
Definitely trying to break into the world top 15. The next Olympics isn’t far away so we want to be in a position to qualify and challenge at that event.
How do you like to switch off away from the court?
Like a lot of the team, I like to go for coffees! I’ve actually been studying a little bit of design; I’m quite interested in drawing and design aspects. It helps me switch off from the grind of training.