Kirsty Gilmour will have the distinction of being the only member of a 50-strong team to have competed in a senior Commonwealth Games, when Scotland competes in the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man from September 7-12.
The 17-year-old from Bothwell, who represented Scotland in Delhi 2010, is one of four badminton players in the squad. The others are Prestwick’s 16-year-old Josh Neil, Edinburgh’s Matthew Carder (18) and Giffnock’s Caitlin Pringle (17).
Neil and Pringle have non-competitive experience of a senior Commonwealth Games, having been selected to travel to Delhi last year as part of the Achieve 2014 programme, which offered a number of talented athletes the opportunity to gain critical knowledge and experience of a senior multi-sport environment to assist their preparations for success in Glasgow and beyond.
The badminton team will be coached and managed by John Quinn and Team Leader Julie Hogg.
Carder is the reigning Scottish National under 19 singles and mixed doubles champion while Gilmour has won national titles at every age group bar under 11 and is the only member of the Youth Games badminton team to have represented Scotland at senior level.
Neil has also sampled significant junior success. He won the singles at the UK School Games last year, a title he will be defending this year the week before the Youth Games begin. He is also the current Under 17 national singles and mixed champion, while some of Pringle’s recent successes include the Under 17 and Under 19 national doubles titles in 2009 and 2010.
BADMINTONscotland Performance Manager, Gareth McKenna said: “The players have been training hard throughout the summer and are looking forward to the Commonwealth Youth Games. The Badminton event will have a very strong field from around the Commonwealth, however the players have prepared well and they know what is expected of them.”
Team Leader Julie Hogg added: “Competing in the Isle of Man will be a great opportunity for players to be part of a multi-sport environment and it will stand them in good stead in years to come. They are all aware of the challenges ahead and I am confident they will compete to the best of their abilities.”
Badminton is one of seven sports in this year’s Youth Games, the others being athletics, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, rugby 7s and swimming.
Sixty-nine of the 71 Commonwealth countries are expected to compete in the Games and for many of the young athletes it will be a stepping stone to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The badminton events take place from September 9-11 with the first two rounds of the five events on day one and quarters and semi-finals on day two.