BOURNEMOUTH’S Lynnlette Aung might have returned home from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival empty handed but she insists her trip Down Under was far from wasted.

At just 16 Lynnlette was the youngest member of Great Britain’s six-strong badminton squad that took to the State Sports Centre in Sydney’s Olympic Park last week.

This meant the Talbot Heath School pupil had to watch on as her compatriots finished agonisingly short of the podium in fourth in the team that took place first at the Festival.

Aung got the chance to strut her stuff on the penultimate day of the Festival but failed to get past the first round in both the singles and mixed doubles events, the latter with Aaron Cheng.

However Lynnlette is keeping her head held high, insisting she was simply a winner by getting a plane ticket to Australia in the first place.

“Although I didn’t get the results, the Olympic Festival was still an incredible experience,” she said. “Being so young I never even thought I would make the Festival in the first place so just to compete in such a big competition was amazing.

“So going into it I thought that everything I did was a bonus and that I just needed to learn from it and that is what I did.

“I didn’t mind if I had a tough draw because I went to play the best in the world. And that is what I got as I had the Chinese in the mixed and the singles which was a good experience and I learnt a lot.

“Being in Australia has taught me a lot about being in a team and thinking about the bigger picture and not the just the one tournament. I want to take things on board and move forward.”

Lynnlette won’t have to wait long to put her new-found belief into practice as she competes in the English National Champion-ships next month.

And Lynnlette believes her Australian experience puts her in good stead for her arrival in Manchester.

“I have never actually been able to see other sports before at a competition so to go to the Festival and be treated like an Olympic athlete was fantastic,” she added.

“It has given me a lot of confidence that I am heading in the right direction and hopefully I can keep this up at the senior nationals next up.”

  •  The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values.