Two Gold Medals for Lewis Carson at 2023 World Dwarf Games

By Andy McGilvray for the Daily Record

Hamilton could have a future badminton star in their midst after Lewis Carson returned with two gold medals in the sport from the Dwarf Games in Germany.

The 11-year-old Hamilton Grammar pupil won gold in singles and doubles badminton, plus 100m relay, silver in football and basketball and bronze in shot put and javelin at the eighth World Games at the Deutsche Sport Hochschule in Cologne from July 28 to August 5.

But he came back enthused about badminton and is receiving coaching from former Scottish national champion Keith Turnbull.

Lewis has also been invited to train with the Scottish Disability badminton team.

Mum Karen, a teacher at Larkhall Academy, said: “Lewis had been at a badminton training day with the Dwarf Sports Association (DSA) a couple of years ago and a coach from Disability Sport Scotland was there, recognised Lewis was doing really well, and suggested that we got in touch with a local coach she knew in Keith Turnbull.

“He went to lessons for a few months and got on really well. He has learned and retained a lot that Keith taught him, and that is by far his favourite sport at the moment. It was amazing to see the focus and the concentration, it was brilliant.”

Lewis, who has a genetic disorder called achondroplasia, was one of 12 Scottish athletes in Team UK at the Games, who were up against athletes from 23 countries.

More than 500 athletes from over 20 countries took part in the Games, which aims to attract athletes with dwarfism to sports.

Karen said: “It’s held every four years, just like the Olympics, and this was the first in six years because of Covid.

“Lewis is part of the DSA, based in Birmingham, and they have seven regions, of which Scotland is one.

“Every year they have national games and Lewis has been in Birmingham, taking part.

“The athletes don’t have to qualify for the World Games, they can apply to take part, so that everybody gets an equal chance to take part, regardless of their ability. This is his first World Games and he hasn’t competed anywhere else, apart from the national games every year, which is an informal games, really to get kids and young adults in training and interested for the Worlds.

“The swimmer Ellie Simmonds is part of the DSA community and started her career because of the opportunities that she got through the DSA.

“There definitely is a pathway and there are other young adults who we know through the Scottish region, who have gone on to compete with the Scottish Para badminton team.

“There are opportunities there to progress if Lewis continues to do well and work hard.”

Following his success, Lewis has plenty to look forward to as he gets stuck into the sport.

Karen added: “Lewis has been invited to go back and train with the Scottish Disability badminton team, which Kirsty Flockhart runs, and that will be a big commitment from Lewis and us, because it’s in Dunfermline and needs a fair bit of travelling every week, and practice in between.

“But Lewis is really keen to join them and see where that leads him.”

Find out more