Badminton: Martin Campbell excited by new doubles pairing

Martin Campbell will play in the mixed doubles and men's doubles
Martin Campbell will play in the mixed doubles and men's doubles
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Martin Campbell cannot wait to form an all-Edinburgh mixed doubles team at the Badminton World Championships which begin on Monday.

The showpiece event is taking place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow from August 21 and 27 and 27-year-old Campbell will team up with Julie MacPherson, 19, to represent Scotland.

Campbell went to Firhill High School while MacPherson is a former pupil of the Royal High School and they are looking forward to seeing how next week goes.

“We are quite a new pairing, but we have been working hard in training together and the coaches obviously see a combination they like,” Campbell said.

“When I was a young player coming through the ranks a few years ago I was paired up with older players and they acted as mentors to me and I guess that is now my role with Julie.

“She has taken the same path as me, moving away from home to really focus on badminton and if I can help her on and off the court to make her way in the game then that would be great.

“On the court I just try and communicate well and get my message across. As a pair we do not have any expectations about next week, we will just go out there and do our best.

“I think it is great to see teenagers like Julie and others come through into the senior ranks and really flourish. It can be a tough career, but so rewarding and I have been lucky enough to visit places that I would never have been to if it wasn’t for the sport.”

In the men’s doubles Campbell will be playing with someone who he has been paired with for a few years.

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 he and Patrick MacHugh, now 25, were put together and they did well at the big event.

They made it through to the last 16 and over the last three years have played quite regularly together.

With the next Commonwealth Games on the horizon in the Gold Coast next April, Campbell and MacHugh are keen for a good showing next week and the former said: “We have worked together for years so we cannot wait to play again as a pairing at such a big event.

“Our games complement each other and we are very focused. We know there are some really tough pairings out there from other countries as well as some new pairings, but we will just focus one round at a time because if you don’t you can get caught out.”

Campbell’s journey in the sport started when he was quite young and with a father and uncle who were actively involved he was always around badminton.

It came as no surprise when he took up the sport and showed promise, playing out of a number of clubs including Tall Oaks run out of Forrester High School.

“I was around Meadowbank and other badminton venues a lot as a kid and I just fell in love with the sport I guess,” he recalled.

“After school I went to Glasgow for a year and then headed down to Loughborough University to study for a degree and also improve my badminton.

“The facilities available down there were great and helped me push on and since I have been based in Glasgow with the other top Scottish players for the last few years I haven’t looked back.

“I have played in a few World Championships, but to have one here in Glasgow is very special and I’d encourage people to head along and watch if they can.”