NOT so long ago 11 year old Keira Waddell from Duns was told by Badminton Scotland that they ‘saw little potential in her’- well she’s been proving them wrong ever since and is now in the top 3 for her age group for the whole of the Scotland.
And the current Lanarkshire girls U11 singles champion and SSBU U12 champion for singles and doubles, is preparing to head to Belgium at Easter where she will represent Scotland at a tournament against some of Europe’s top young badminton players.
Keira won’t actually be playing in the official Scotland team, instead she will be part of the Equipe Ecosse squad, set up by a mother of a young player who first took a group of children to the Belgian competition after Badminton Scotland expressed no interest in taking part.
A keen member of Duns Badminton Club, Keira already gets plenty of practice as she trains three times a week, but she is stepping her training up as she gets ready for her trip over the continent.
It’s a busy year for Keira who also has the Scottish Primary School Championships in her diary, where she’s likely to be seeded first.
Although the lady herself was quite modest about her achievements, her mum Donna said the Duns Primary pupil “lived and breathed badminton”.
“When she was seven she started playing grass roots tennis but she didn’t enjoy it that much so moved onto badminton” Donna explained.
“She loved it straight away and was an absolute natural. I’m really proud of her.”
Keira’s coach, Duns Badminton Club’s Pete Hardie, was also full of praise for the talented youngster.
“She has come through the set up really well and has a lot of potential. She’s a great player.”
Keira has had to raise £700 to go to Belgium and she and Donna would like to thank Anderson Engineering, Ahlstrom, J.E Douglas & Sons, Pearsons of Duns, Polly Wolly Doodle Childcare, The Real Firewood Company and E.R Massie & Son Ltd and Berwickshire Sports Council for their generous donations and support.