MARIA Mitchell, 13 years old from Valley Park has made badminton a big part of her life since she was just seven.

Maria started badminton with Eastleigh Badminton Club and she is now training at Valley Park Badminton Club, as well as Hampshire Badminton and is coached by Mark Peckham.

Just a teenager, Maria won the U14 and U18 Girl's Singles titles in Hampshire Junior Tournament. She attended the U15 English National Championships where she won two bronze medals. Her most recent success is winning 3 trophies at the Estonian Youth International, where she won two gold medals (in U15 Singles and U17 Girls Doubles) and also a silver medal in Mixed Doubles. A fantastic result.

Maria has been selected to represent the U15 England team twice, at the 4 Nations and 8 Nations.

Maria's mum, Christina Mitchell said: " Her hard work and dedication have started to be clearly noticeable over the lockdown when Maria continued her training in a different way by improving her fitness level on Zoom sessions.

"Her achievements and successes would not have been possible without the support received from Adidas, Energise Me, Hampshire County Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and of course her family and coaches."