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and achieving their personal best

Abigail Hong

Abigail is an 11-year-old badminton player from Allestree who a gold medal in Under-11s National Championships for the girls' doubles. She is a member of the Derby shire Performance Centre Squad and is also on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport programme.

Abigail says: "I was introduced to badminton by my father and brothers who were all badminton players. I would watch them play and be keen to start playing too.

"When I first started, I was six years old and I mostly had sessions with my father. I started playing tournaments when I was nine years old.

"After starting individual sessions with James Boxall, I became more serious about badminton than I had previously. At the Under-11 National Championships, I won the Girls Doubles and came third in the Girls Singles.

"I also joined the Derbyshire Institute of Sport and received coaching from Andy Wood. I take part in two strength and conditioning sessions and four on court sessions a week. I also attend Derbyshire Performance Centre sessions twice a week.

"The ICON bursary will help me to access more individual sessions and help with traveling expenses. My goal for this season would be to come in the top three at the Under-13 National Championships in all events."