Weston College Badminton Star Aims to Keep it in the Family

For many students heading to the AoC Sport National Championships, it's an exciting experience of which they have little prior knowledge and mixed expectations.

But one student from Weston College will go to Tyne and Wear in April with a fair bit of inside information - with her brother having claimed gold for the South West two years ago.

Henley Ngan was men's badminton singles champion in 2014 and is now training full-time - a feat sister Kirby now wishes to emulate.

Kirby is currently ranked sixth nationally for singles and 11th for doubles at senior standard, and is England's number one at Under-19 level for both.

Having already travelled to Peru last year for the World Junior Championships, an achievement Kirby rates as her best to date in the sport, the AoC Sport National Championships shouldn't faze her one bit. But there is still the pressure of living up to the standard set by big brother Henley.

However the young star says the support offered by Weston College's Elite Athlete Programme (EAP) can help her achieve her first national title.

"Being a Weston College EAP student has helped me combine my studies, training and playing," she said.

"I’m hoping that this will help me achieve my goal of winning a national title in 2016 as this is something that I’m yet to do."

And Weston's Head of Sport, Paul Taylor, believes Kirby's dedication will drive her towards success in Tyne and Wear.

"Kirby is an outstanding student and athlete," he said. "As an EAP athlete she combines her busy badminton schedule with her studies perfectly. She is training hard and we are all looking forward to the National Championships in April."