Cara, who started her badminton career at Liskeard Junior & Inclusive Club and St Neot Primary after school club, gained entry into all three disciplines at this year’s U17 championships: girls singles, doubles and mixed. In singles, she was knocked out in the quarter finals by the England No1 seed after putting up a good fight but loosing 21-15 in both ends. With her U17 girl’s doubles partner Eleanor Butler, Cara fought through to the second day being beaten in the semi final by England’s No1 pair but achieving a bronze national medal.
However, Cara and her mixed doubles partner Ethan Rose, who had only played 2 previous tournaments together, battled through to the second day where they played and beat the England No2 pair in the semi finals. Although they lost the first end 12-21, they fought back to win the second 21-18 and confidently took the final end 21-10 earning them a place in the final against the England No1 pair.
In the first end of the final, Cara and Ethan started strongly taking an early lead of 6-1. However, the more established and experienced partnership of Alex Green and Estelle Van Leeuwen, who are ranked No1 in U17s but 18 and 22 overall in all age groups in England, went on to win the first end 21-17 and the second 21-14. Although disappointed, Cara is delighted to have put Cornwall Youth Badminton on the map, especially as U17s girl’s badminton is dominated by girls from Buckinghamshire who took 8 of the 16 medals available.
Cara’s remarkable achievements were made even more special when she found out that the Cornwall Youth Badminton officials were keeping track of the live scores whilst running the U13 Cornish Championships held on the same day at Treviglas, Newquay. To inspire the upcoming players Jon Wotton, Cornwall Youth Badminton coach and referee, proudly announced at the beginning of mixed doubles event that Cara was making history by currently playing in the English National final.
The bronze and silver U17 English National Championship medals Cara brought home to Cornwall were the result of hard work, support and the love of a sport. However, her achievements would not have been possible without the help of volunteers at Liskeard Junior & Inclusive Club and Cornwall Youth Badminton; her personal coach Malcolm Cooper and group coach Sue Rose. As well as support from GLL Foundation Lux Park, Cornwall Sports Partnership, the Lord Lieutenant’s Fund and Karakal UK who are all helping her work towards the highest levels of success in badminton.
In 2 weeks time, Cara will compete alongside other Cornish youngsters proudly representing Cornwall in the U18s English Inter County Championships in Nottingham.