Tell us about your journey into badminton?
I started when I was six. My mum and dad played a bit when they were younger, so they got me and my siblings into it. Matt, my twin brother, played for a few clubs and then we got into the national team when we were nine. I joined the Glasgow School of Sport at 11, through to when I was 17, when I went straight into the senior squad. I’ve been training full-time since then.
How did you find the step up from playing at junior level to national level?
It was quite difficult, especially the first couple of years, because of the strength in depth that’s out there. I still felt like a little boy playing against the older guys but a few years down the line, we’re now starting to compete with some of the top guys in the world. I think we dealt with the transition quite well and we managed to improve quite quickly.
Tell us about your career highlights so far?
Winning last year’s men’s doubles at the Scottish Open with my brother is definitely up there. The whole week was amazing. Going into the tournament, we knew we had a chance of doing quite well but we didn’t really think we could win it. In the semi-finals, we played the former world number twos from South Korea [Kim Gi-jung and Kim Sa-rang] and we were thinking it was good just to get the chance to play them, then we managed to beat them. Winning that gave us a lot of confidence for the final and it was brilliant to win it on home soil in front of our family and friends. The atmosphere was great, everyone wanted us to win, and it really did help us. Aside from that, winning the 2021 Scottish National Championships and being selected for the Commonwealth Games are also massive highlights.
How is training going and how has the last year been for you general ‘coming out of covid’?
Through Covid, we had good support to do a lot of sessions so I was pretty strong when we started playing competitively again. It was just getting back into the rhythm of playing tournaments again, getting used to the bubbles and restrictions. Luckily now they’ve eased, and it feels back to normal again.
How has this season gone for you so far?
It’s been good. We played in the Indonesia Open for the first time and it was unbelievable. I’ve never played anywhere where the fans are so passionate about badminton, you could barely hear yourself play on the court as the fans were so loud. It was mad off-court, too. Back here, no-one really knows who you are, but out there you feel famous – I felt like a footballer.
Tell us about your previous Commonwealth Games memories?
I was there as a spectator at Glasgow 2014, and I’ll always remember Scotland playing Malaysia in the mixed team event. The whole crowd getting behind Scotland was brilliant and hopefully a lot of Scottish fans will make the trip to Birmingham. I went to quite a few sports, gymnastics, table tennis, athletics – it was great to see, and it definitely inspired me to work hard and get to the Commonwealth Games myself.
What are your aims for the rest of 2022 – both for Birmingham and beyond?
Definitely to try and cause an upset and fight for some medals at the Commonwealth Games. Two weeks after that, we’ve got the World Championships. That’s obviously going to be very tough, but we’ll give that our best shot as well. Those are our two big tournaments this year so it’s an important summer ahead.
What are your goals for the next 4-5 years?
I’d love to reach the top 10 in the world in the coming years and hopefully win some medals at the Commonwealth Games, maybe even push for an Olympic Games.