A YOUNG badminton star has continued his progression with another fine year in the sport in 2013.
Jack Buckley, from Trentham, has managed to cope with the heavy demand of local, county and international commitments to maintain his development.
The 14-year-old Trentham High School student, who has been playing the sport since he was six, kicked off 2013 by reaching the quarter-final stage at the English National Badminton Championships in the boys doubles under-15s in March.
A month later, Buckley captained his school side to national success at the Center Parcs National Schools Championships at Sherwood Forest, in a competition which saw 1,500 schools enter.
Trentham beat Denbigh School 21-7 in the final to become national champions.
Buckley, who plays for Trentham in the North Staffordshire League, also featured for the county's under-17 side, in which he is the number one seed, despite being two years younger than some of his team-mates.
And their was no stopping him on the international stage, either, as his England commitments saw him secure a silver medal in the under-15s doubles at November's European Championships in Finland.
Buckley, whose training and playing schedule see him on the court five times a week, said: "It was a good year for me. I'm quite proud of what I've achieved.
"Your success is determined by the effort you put into it. My main aim for this year is to get at least a bronze medal at the English National Badminton Championships.
"I think badminton's a really exciting sport. People don't realise how physically demanding the sport is until you play it at the highest level.
"It's quick and challenging and there are a lot of tactics involved. I enjoy playing."
Buckley has been nominated in the Junior Individual category for TheSentinel/City of Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards by father Paul.
Paul said: "I'm very proud of his achievements. It's nice that all the top players know each other and are friends too.
"He can get frustrated if he loses, but he channels his emotions well, he doesn't go smashing his racket and keeps it under control, which you have to do.
"You need a poker face during games otherwise it gives your opponent the advantage as they know you're frustrated."
The 47-year-old added his son's sporting success had been down to a disciplined approach.
"I think young people playing sport at such a high level makes them more sensible," he added. "It makes them grow up quicker as you have to keep to a training schedule and do it without moaning.
"He's pretty quiet normally. Jack doesn't think he's brilliant and it's very typical of him to be humble – he takes it all in his stride."