Queensferry’s UK champ bids for world glory

A QUEENSFERRY mum has overcome disability to become a British badminton champion for the second year in succession at 46 years of age.

Fiona Christie, who is a single amputee, won the Para-Badminton Four Nations doubles and mixed doubles champions at Ravenscraig Sports Facility in Motherwell, last weekend. And her aim now is to compete at the Para-Badminton World Championships in Germany later this year.

Fiona (46) was one of more than 100 competitors from across the UK who took part in the championships, which included categories for badminton players with learning difficulties, dwarfism, and the wheelchair-bound.

But Fiona, who won both titles last year, excelled again in the wheelchair events to pick up two titles and narrowly miss out on a third.

She successfully defended her women’s doubles title, pairing up with former Queensferry woman Kirsty Johnstone-Jones, now of Glenrothes, and won the mixed doubles title with England’s Martin Rooke. She had set her sights on a treble but lost out to England’s Paula Robinson in the final of the women’s singles.

Fiona, who is married to marine engineer Jeremy and has two sons, Michael, (20) and David (16), lost a leg to cancer when she was just 18 years old. The loss left her totally ‘devastated’ but she got on with her life and brought up a family.

In a bid to keep fit over the years, Fiona took up badminton socially, playing regularly at Newton Community Centre against able-bodied players.

She said: “I used to fall down a lot when I started playing but I began playing in a chair when I was pregnant with my younger son and never went back to standing.”

A web designer by profession, Fiona works from home and two years ago, she decided to keep more active and increase her participation in the sport.

Training three times a week at Kirkliston, Newton and the Lothian Disability Badminton Club in Musselburgh, it was not long before Fiona was taking part in competitions, playing in a specially-adapted wheelchair, which cost her £2000.

Since then she has won the Four Nations doubles and mixed doubles titles twice and now looks forward to three other UK-based championships. But her goal is to compete at the world championships in November.