Lucy unfazed by her first trip south of border
DUNS badminton player Lucy Nevin will compete on English soil for the first time ever at the Sainsbury's UK School Games – but insists she isn't fazed by a trip south of the border.
Berwickshire High School pupil Lucy is part of a 12-strong Scottish badminton team set to make the trip to the Gateshead International Stadium for this week's competition.
The 15-year-old, who plays for Duns Badminton Club, underlined her future potential at the Scottish National Junior Championships earlier this year, lifting the under-15 girls' singles title, and was given a taster of what to expect in Gateshead at the U15 Home Nations Quadrangular tournament in Llanelli back in April where she lost out to eventual winner Natalie Chan-Lam.
And despite admitting to entering into unknown territory at the Sainsbury's UK School Games, Lucy is adamant she can hold her own in the north east of England.
"I still haven't competed in England – the tournament in Llanelli was my first chance to see the English players and I lost to the girl who went on to win," she said.
"But it was a great experience and the UK School Games is one of the biggest events for people of my age in the UK so I am very excited.
"I had a good season last year winning the under-15 Scottish title, the new season is just starting and I will be playing in the under-17 category. So I am moving up an age group and that will mean some tougher competition, but I feel more than ready for the challenge," Lucy insisted.
"I absolutely love playing against people who are older, the experience is immense. It just brings your game up so much more and gets the best out of you."
Lucy has also been fine tuning her preparations for the UK School Games by competing in Germany, and is adamant any experience she gets in Gateshead, good or bad, will prove invaluable as she begins an imminent jump up to under-17 competition.
"At the UK School Games I just want to play my best and see how far I can go and experience the whole tournament and see all of the other players who I haven't played before," she added.
"I want to keep improving and I want to go to more tournaments here and abroad and just get as much experience as possible. I'll train hard this year and set my goals on winning as much as I can."
The Sainsbury's UK School Games is managed by the Youth Sport Trust, a national charity that works with more than 450 school sport partnerships across the country to improve the PE and school sport experience for all young people. For more information visit www.youthsporttrust.org