AN airman from North Yorkshire's front-line fighter base at RAF Leeming will be facing one of his toughest battles this summer - when he competes in the Commonwealth Games.

Cpl Simon Gaines been selected to represent the Isle of Man at badminton in the Games being held in Manchester.

He joined the air force in March 1987 and is currently part of Leeming's mechanical components flight. He lives with his partner and daughter in Sedgefield.

Cpl Gaines started playing badminton at an early age and played at country level at the age of 16.

He has played for the RAF for the last 13 years and during that time has won the singles title five times, the men's doubles twice and mixed doubles once.

He has also represented the Combined Services for 11 years, winning the singles three times, men's doubles five times and mixed doubles once.