ParaBadminton star player Will Smith from Prudhoe is riding high at the moment after scooping the EFDS North East Male Personality of the Year Award for the second time.
Will first won this award two years ago, but following a tremendous year of achievements which resulted in Will being ranked number 6 in the World at Singles and 7 at Doubles, he deservedly took the award again at the ceremony in Durham. Will received his award plus a bursary from Paralympic star guest Stephen Miller, and was then interviewed by both BBC and ITV and appeared on both Regional News programmes.
Will receiving his award
Will was nominated for the award by the BADMINTON England Regional Officer Lynsey Edwards, who attended the ceremony along with Norma Waterfield, who retired from her Regional Officer post in November 2010, but who is still very much involved in Badminton as Northumberland Badminton Association Secretary and as a very willing volunteer. Norma continues to support Will and said:
“I am absolutely delighted that Will has won this award again. He has made such brilliant progress over the last few years and it is wonderful to see how Will has developed into a highly ranked world class player. He is a superb role model for our sport and is so modest! He is an inspiration to others. I wish Will every success for the future.”
BADMINTON England have just set up a ParaBadminton National Squad consisting of 12 players, 6 of whom are classed as “Podium Performers”. Will is one of these, and will receive extra coaching as well as playing in more competitions internationally as well as nationally.
Will in action
Will celebrated his inclusion in this squad by pulling off a shock result at the recent Scottish ParaBadminton Championships Leg of the 4 Nations Series in Scotstoun near Glasgow. Will and his regular Doubles partner from Bedfordshire defeated the favourites, an Anglo-Scottish pair whom they had never beaten in a final before, in 2 sets, 21-19, 21-16! He was agonisingly close to making it 2 Gold medals, only just losing in 3 sets in the Singles final.
Will is a member of the Newcastle Medicals Badminton Club, where he regularly plays with and against able bodied players. He is in his final year of his studies at Newcastle University. Will has accepted an invitation from Lynsey Edwards to present the trophies at the forthcoming Regional Finals of the Center Parcs National Schools Championships at Sport Central in Newcastle. “Will is just brilliant.” said Lynsey on meeting him for the first time! This sums Will up!