U13 Celtic Challenge

Posted by Carissa Turner at 02:02 on 19 February 2016

group knelt

Over the weekend of the 13th and 14th  February 2016, the Under 13’s National Badminton squad and Badminton Wales coaches travelled to Belfast in Ireland to compete in the annual 'Celtic Challenge' event. The squad who represented Wales in this year's tournament were: 

  • Daniel Clarke, Daniel Kite, Charlie Cahill, Alfie Moorcroft, Adil Khan and Thomas Morgan. 
  • Lowri Hart, Aimie Whiteman, Lucie Whiteman, Freya Cottrill, Jasmine Owen and Saffron Morris.

The coaches who accompanied the squad were: Nic Strange (U13 Coach/Manager), Neil Cottrill and Stephanie Marti-Jones.


The young Welsh team kick started the tournament on Saturday morning by taking on the Lothian squad. It proved to be a fantastic start to the weekend, with some very close and competitive matches. Wales' Lowri Hart and Aimie Whiteman won their girls doubles: 21-7, 21-12. Both girls proved to be on winning streaks after also comfortably winning their singles matches. Adil Khan took one for the boys, by winning his first singles game of the event, 21-17, 21-14. Many of the other games were also very close, with many going to three. However, Wales missed out on an overall team win against Lothian, losing 4-11.

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After lunch on the Saturday, Wales were up against Leinster. The team were extremely supportive of one another, and after an encouraging team talk, all players were fully motivated and confident to win their next match. Freya Cottrill and Lucie Whiteman started off the match by confidently winning their girls doubles 21-12, 21-7. Aimie Whiteman also added to the list of victors by winning her singles match. When it came to the three boys singles, the matches were nail bitingly close. Daniel Clarke and Adil Khan lost narrowly, however Daniel Kite came up trumps by winning 21-19, 21-12. Overall, Wales lost to Leinster 4-11, however the score does not reflect how outstandingly this young Welsh team performed.


By Sunday morning, Wales were refreshed, motivated and ready to play against Alpha. All the players looked to be at their peak performance and everyone was confident that the team would excel throughout this last match. Wales won two out of the three boys doubles; Charlie Cahill and Alfie Moorcroft won 21-15, 21-19, whilst Adil Khan and Thomas Morgan won 21-5, 21-16. When it came to the girls doubles, the pairings proved to be unbeatable; with neither of them dropping a single set to the Alpha team. In the boys singles, Adil Khan won 21-7, 21-8, whilst Lowri Hart and Aimie Whiteman thrashed their opposition in the girls singles, 21-5, 21-0 and 21-3, 21-2. Freya Cottrill also added to the winning streak after winning a competitive three setter 21-16, 18-21, 22-20. To finish off the competition, the mixed doubles pairings all won convincingly to give Wales an overall win over Alpha, 11-4.

Group stood

Overall Wales came third in the 2016 Celtic Challenge. Each of the coaches had only good things to say about the players, as each child played extremely well and had some very close games. Everyone appeared to have a fantastic time during the event, whilst also benefiting from the valuable experience that the Celtic Challenge provides for these young stars. Badminton Wales and the squad coaches would like to thank all the parents for their continued support over the weekend.