BADMINTON: A RISING badminton star has one eye on a Team GB spot at the Olympic Games after bagging bronze and silver medals at the Under 17s Gold Tournament in Milton Keynes.
Kiara Henry said representing Team GB at the Olympics would be the ‘ultimate achievement’ following years of determination and sacrifice to play badminton against some of the country’s most talented players.
The Arden School student is currently mixing her GCSE studies with training for the new badminton season.
And the youngster described her two bronze and one silver medal at the Gold Tournament as a ‘steady way to start the season’.
Speaking to The Observer, Kiara said her passion for badminton started at the age of ten after previously playing tennis.
“Initially I was a tennis player, but I decided to focus on badminton after making the choice to choose one sport,” said Henry.
“Since then I’ve gone from using badminton as a casual sporting activity to training at least four times a week in Milton Keynes and Birmingham as well as extra fitness training.
“The commitment and drive has resulted in me being selected for my county and England on six occasions.”
Kiara’s ability on the court has been supported by Maurice Robinson Sports in Kings Heath, and she recently became a badminton ambassador for sports brand Babolat.
With several domestic and international tournaments planned for this seasom, the teenager hopes to continue her fine start to the season.
But she admits there are several areas of her game she must improve if she is to succeed.
She said: “I’m hungry to improve. I want to earn an England selection in the future and one day win national title or European championships at junior or senior level.
“The ultimate achievement would be to represent Great Britain at the Olympics.
“This season will be demanding as I have my GCSEs to complete at Arden School.
“Fitting my studying and revision around my training and competition schedule in the UK and internationally will be tough. But I’m ready for the challenge.”