BADMINTON champion Philip Aspinall is on the look-out for a sponsor who could help him achieve his dream of competing in the London Olympics in 2012.

The 13-year-old has got real potential to make it big in the badminton world after being crowned the National Champion at Under 11, Under 12 and Under 13 level.

But the St Wilfred's pupil, from Great Harwood, is hoping he can get some financial help to fulfil his dreams.

Parents Steven and Angela estimate they spend about £4000 a year on trying to help Philip take his badminton career to the highest level.

"We guess we did about 20,000 miles in the car last year, taking Philip to various competitions and paid around £600 in competition fees and then we have to pay for hotels for us," said dad Steven.

"Rackets are about £150 each for a decent one and Philip usually has around three or four at once. We don't mind but it does mean we have to forego other things and we are limited."

Philip does get some help from the World Futures Programme, which is lottery funded and provides expert coaching - he was one of the youngest players in the country to get onto this elite coaching course when he was just 11.

But Steve admitted: "His funding has been cut recently. He did get £250 a year and we expected it to go up to £500 this year but is hasn't happened because of cuts.

"Also the World Programme involves Philip training in Manchester with top quality coaches twice a week for two hour sessions.

"We have learned that only one session will be paid for and we have to pay for the other which is £40 a week and, with all the other costs, it is expensive.

"Money is being pumped into badminton at grass root level which is good for the sport but some of the elite funding has been cut.

"We will obviously carry on helping Philip as he just loves playing and he has the talent but it is hard financially."

BADMINTON England admitted that they had been forced to cut funds for elite athletes as they are heavily investing in grass roots badminton to try and bridge the gap between that and the elite players.

Philip got the badminton bug aged just seven as his mum and dad competed in the Blackburn League. "We used to book a court to practise and Philip came along."

In 2002, Philip's potential was spotted and he was put on the World Futures Programme.

And his rapid rise continued as he became number one in England at Under 11 level in 2003 at Milton Keynes, he won the Under 12 Rising Stars competition at Warwick and he celebrated three gold medals at the Under 13 Select Tournament in Grantham where only the top 24 players in the country are invited.

In April this year, the former St Gabriel's pupil made it three national titles in a row by winning the Under 13s crown in Doncaster.

He has gone on to represent England Under 13s in Belgium, Germany and Denmark.

"He also recently competed in a Home Counties competition for England Under 15s. He was the only Under 13 that took part so he is right up at the top," said his dad.

"He will be 20 by the London 2012 Olympics, we do not know what will happen but he certainly has a chance and the potential to get there."

World Future's Head Coach Jens Grill seconded this: "Philip is a very talented player as indicated by his national ranking of number one in the Under 13 Boys Single event last season and has recently been nominated for the Under 15 England squad.

"BADMINTON England are investing in him as a player with the potential to achieve future senior success at world class level."

And while Philip excels at badminton, he has another sporting talent as he is a cricket star at Great Harwood CC.

In fact, the people at Cliffe Park have been so impressed with him that they recently nominated him for the "Rising Star Award" at the Hyndburn Sports Awards - and he won it and will go onto a glittering ceremony in a bid to be Lancashire's "Rising Star".

Mick Deasey, from Great Harwood CC, said of the all-rounder: "Philip is an outstanding cricketer and shows excellent team commitment. He has won both batting and bowling age group awards and has been a mainstay of the Great Harwood Under 13 side which won the Ribblesdale League title last year and finished the season undefeated.

"He has also played for the Hyndburn town team and this year, got to the final trials for the Lancashire Under 13 side.

"To achieve what he has done in two sports, despite a gruelling badminton schedule is a sign of his ability and commitment - and his families!"

Hyndburn Assistant Sports Development Officer George Cull said Philip faced tough competition for the prestigious "Rising Star Award" but did well to come out on top. "Philip had to beat off competition from a swimmer who has achieved five national qualifying times and an athlete who has broken a national record in her age group in athletics.

"The judges were impressed with his record in both cricket and badminton and he was a deserving winner. Lets hope he can be flying the flag for Hyndburn in London 2012."

Anyone who can help Philip with sponsorship call 01254 888299 or email .