A MAIDEN trip to Indonesia was like entering a portal to another world for Adam Hall. Barely recognised in his own country, the 26 year-old was feted like a celebrity on a recent trip to a country where badminton is considered part of the national fabric.

The doubles specialist admits he didn’t perform to his best at the world-famous Istora Arena but even that disappointment didn’t take away from the joy he felt at being somewhere where almost everyone loves his chosen sport as much as he does.

“The whole experience in Indonesia was just crazy,” he reflects. “The fans there are just so loud and passionate and it was brilliant just to be a part of it. They are crazy for badminton in the same way that people in Scotland feel about football.

“It was like being a different athlete for those two weeks, getting stopped in the malls or on the street from people wanting photos. You assume they don’t really know who you are and then they tag you on their Instagram posts and it’s like, “Oh, they did know me!” That was strange for the foreign players but must be like that for the Indonesian players all the time.

“It was amazing to have that attention for a short time but I’m not sure I’d want it all year round. It was nice to come back to Scotland again where nobody knows me. I don’t know how actual celebrities can handle it.”

Hall’s public profile could yet go up a notch in this country, however, should he end up taking gold at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. The Paisley-based player will team up again with partners Alex Dunn and Julie MacPherson for the men’s and mixed doubles events respectively, believing that a medal ought not to be beyond either pairing in Birmingham.

This is Hall’s second Games after appearing on Gold Coast four years ago and, while that was a transformative experience for him in the early days of his career, the expectation levels are greater this time around.

“I’d say our chances are reasonably high,” he adds. “As a team I think we’ve got a really good shot at getting medals and on a personal level I’m feeling pretty confident in both the men’s and the mixed of at least making the medal matches. And once you get there it often just comes down to who plays best on the day.

“At Gold Coast we weren’t really looking to medal, we were just happy to get there. That had been the main goal so reaching the quarter-finals with Alex was just a bonus really. It was mostly just about enjoying the experience.

“This time I pretty much knew I was going to make the team before qualification started so it was always about looking to Birmingham and what we could do when we got there. I want to take the experience of Gold Coast and use it to try for a medal this time.

“When I look at how I’ve played over the last year – winning European silver with Alex for example – then I don’t see why I shouldn’t be aiming for a place on the podium.”

Hall’s time in Indonesia also saw him land another noticeable first as he teamed up with legendary badminton commentator Gillian “Oma Gill” Clark to provide analysis on his peers in action.

“That was the best experience ever, I had so much fun,” he reflects. “I had spoken to Gill on and off and at the 2019 world championships I had said I would be interested in jumping into the commentary booth if she ever wanted me.

“It’s been a long three years since then with Covid and all the stricter regulations so it was nice to finally get the chance to work with her. She’s an absolute legend, not just in badminton but just in sports commentary in general.

“I quite like analysing matches anyway just as a player and Gill put me at ease. She said it was just two badminton fans having a chat about a game of badminton and that was spot on. I’m not sure I could handle all the travel she does but I’d definitely be up for doing it again if the chance arose.”

Sport can often be used as a vehicle for delivering positive change. Hall, who recently became an ambassador for badminton charity Solibad, strongly agrees.

“I got an email asking if I wanted to get involved and I said ‘yes’ right away as I think they do such a good job. In Indonesia I got to meet a group of kids that Solibad had been helping and that was really inspiring. I play badminton as my job but I can see how much it means to so many different people around the world. So anything I can do to give back to the sport then I’d be more than happy to do that.”