My Journey so far...
I started playing badminton at the age of 6. My mum played for Wales as a junior so naturally my two sisters and I started playing. We played a lot as a family on the weekends and I quickly took to badminton and by the age of 10 was regularly training in club and county. I won my first national title in the under 11's and went on to win national titles in every age group.
During my junior career I concentrated mostly on singles winning many British tournaments. I won my first senior national championships in 2009 when I was 16 and then went on to get my first Welsh cap 6 months later. I couldn't have achieved what I have in badminton without my parents. They have supported me through everything and have sacrificed hundreds of evenings and weekends transporting me to tournaments and waiting in sports halls.
In 2008 I went to Pune in India for the Youth Commonwealth Games. It was great playing in Asia and also being part of a huge team not just badminton. Also the whole atmosphere of a multi sport event is so different to anything else I had ever experienced. Two years later when I was 17 I was selected to go to the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, which was amazing! I had already had a taste of what it would be like in Pune but it was on another level. The facilities and atmosphere were even better and we got to play a team event. Unfortunately in the individual I had the winner first round but it was an amazing experience as she was the top Indian player so the crowd was mental.
In 2011 I was partnered up in doubles with Carissa Turner. The only other time we had played together was when I was 14 and Carissa was 17 and playing with my elder sister Rachel. Rachel couldn't play in the under 19 nationals so I was subbed in to play with Carissa and we ended up winning it! We always joked we would end up playing together but never thought we would as we were both focused on our singles. We had a great first season winning our first tournament the Nottingham Open and a semi final in our first European tournament and carried on with good results for the following year. In May 2012 we got to our first European tournament final in the Slovenia Open and again 3 months later in the Polish Open but were both gutted losing in both finals, but very motivated to get a tournament win. At the start of the 2012/2013 I decided to concentrate on doubles instead of singles as I was finding it difficult to juggle both and decided doubles would be the focus towards the Glasgow Commonwealths. It was a very difficult decision to make but I knew it was the best for my career at that point in time. I also had the great opportunity to start playing mixed with Oliver Gwilt. In January 2013 I won both the women's and mixed doubles with Carissa and Oliver Gwilt at the Cyprus Open.
The rest of 2013 was a difficult year for us as Carissa had a serious shoulder injury which resulted in us pulling out of a few tournaments and then not playing any tournaments for 6 months. Our ranking dropped over 60 places. It was a really frustrating time not just for Carissa but also for myself. It's hard being there training and your partner not being able to. I also travelled to a few tournaments just for mixed but it wasn't the same. We both really struggled mentally over the following few months but stuck together as it would have been very easy to have drifted apart.
At the start of this season we struggled to find our level again, with Carissa only being back training for a few weeks but we had to start tournaments straight away as we were already a few months into Commonwealth qualifying period. Our ranking kept dropping and we really couldn't get a good win over the following few months, but 2014 has been a great few months for us. We have won 2 European tournaments the Iceland and Portuguese Open and also got to the semi finals of the Polish open which is a very strong European tournament. Our ranking has moved up to a career high of 52 in the world. I also won my 9th and 10th national senior titles. Now it's just maintaining the level and training hard towards Glasgow Commonwealths in August.