Athlete Profile: Matt Clare
- How did you get involved with your sport? How old were you?
My Dad played badminton to county standard and started me off hitting shuttles in our garden, before taking me to play on some indoor courts. I was about seven years old.
- Where do you train?
Currently at Leeds Met University, and Woodkirk school in Leeds, a total of three nights each week. I also belong to Harrogate Racquets Club, so play there, and at Ripon Leisure Centre, when I have weekends free. I do fitness/strength & stability training at home at least two sessions each week.
- Describe a typical week in your sporting life (how many times you train, how long you train for etc.)
Typically I do three on court sessions of 2 hours each, plus competitive play (tournaments or matches) at weekends. Home training sessions (strength and stability) take me about half an hour each one.
- What is your greatest sporting achievement so far?
Easy – representing England in an international tournament earlier this year, and winning a silver medal in the process.
- When is your next big competition? What are you doing to prepare for this?
My tournament season has just finished, but will start again in September 09. The big tournaments this year will be on the national circuit, where I will face all the best players from the UK. The climax of the season will be the Under 13 nationals. The competition gets tougher each year, so all I can do is train hard, listen to my coaches, and try to put things into practice. I can’t control what others players do, but as long as I play to my best ability, I’ll be happy.
- What are your sporting goals and dreams?
It was to represent England, but now I’ve done that, I’m setting my sights on an Olympic medal.
- Who is your sporting hero and why?
In Badminton it’s Anthony Clark (England). My coaches tell me he worked really hard to get what he has achieved in the sport, and I think he plays some of the best disguised drop shots I have seen.
In other sports I’m a bit of a Rob Burrow fan (Leeds Rhinos).
- How do you cope with nerves before a big competition?
I don’t think I get too nervous and doing well usually helps. My Dad gets more nervous than I do!
- What do you enjoy most about being an athlete?
A great feeling when I do well in competition, and the friends I make.
- Who is your biggest supporter and why?
My Mum and Dad because they are always there to support and encourage me.
Please list your key sporting achievements including the date:
Silver medallist Under 11 Nationals (Boys Singles) – May 2008
Bronze medallist Under 11 Nationals (Boys Doubles) – May 2008
Bronze medallist Under 13 Nationals (Boys Doubles) – March 2009
Silver medallist Olve (Belgium) International Tournament Under 13 (Boys Doubles) – April 2009
England Under 13 representation at Olve International – April 2009
Yorkshire Under 12 Open winner (Boys Singles) – April 2009