Badminton Life

New names on the trophies at the Scottish Junior Badminton Championships

The Bank of Scotland National Junior Badminton Championships have long been regarded as a tournament where the new talent in Scottish badminton gets the chance to make a breakthrough and the tournament has been the scene where many new names have been thrust into the spotlight.

Hopes are high that Alison Marr and Peter Hockey, who with a name like that is probably playing the wrong sport, will be able to live up to the hype and expectations and clinch some title glory at the forthcoming event which is going to be held at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh on the weekend of April 12th and 13th. The seedings for the upcoming event have just been released and it will be interesting to see if the expected outcomes materialise.

Marr, hailing from Kilmalcolm, has been installed as the favourite for the Women's Singles Under 23 title and features as the top seed in the Mixed Doubles event with Hockey, who will be playing in his home town. The quality of both these players is maintained with the news that Hockey, along with partner Duncan Leith, has been named the top seeds for the Mens Doubles event.

This level of consistency across the events showcases the quality and strength in depth of these two players and it would be a surprise if they do not manage to conjure up a few victories over the weekend to justify the belief that has been placed in them.

One potential barrier to Hockey triumphing in the Men's Doubles event will come in the shape of Martin Campbell, another player who calls Edinburgh his home city and Angus Gilmour who hails from Troon in Ayrshire. This duo is ranked as the second seeds and will be looking to take the Under 23 Men's Doubles title to go along with the Under 17 triumph they sealed last year.

This is certainly a big jump in the age group so it has to be seen that this partnership is operating at the top of their game and even if they fail in this years campaign, they will likely have many more attempts to win the Under 23 title in the future. Which is the beauty of these Junior Championships, it brings together so much developing talent that there is a genuine belief that the players will be allowed to develop and keep returning year after year in their Junior years.

The weekend is set to showcase over 200 young Scottish badminton players and the fact that the 5 events in the Under 23 events will all feature new winners with no former winner remaining in the age bracket to take place in the event is sure to add a level of excitement and ensure there will be some player who grabs the breakthrough opportunity to make a name for themselves.

There is also a lot of focus being placed on the Men's Under 17s event and the fact that there are 8 seeds in total indicates the high number of players playing and of the general quality of these players. It has been said on numerous occasions that 2008 has been a bumper year so far for Scottish badminton and the current crop of youngsters gives rise to the hope that the future is looking promising as well.

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