Muriel champions the Masters

Congratulations to Muriel Burgess who was presented with the Walter Arkley award for her exceptional, long-standing contribution to Masters badminton in Northumberland, at the Northumberland Masters tournament last weekend. The award is presented in memory of Walter Arkley, a long-standing volunteer of NBA and presented in line with his passion for the sport, Masters, or Veteran’s badminton as it was previously known, being one of his passions.

The award was presented by Steve Abbott, Chairman of the Northumberland Competitive Play Board and tournament referee for the event.

Muriel has been running the Northumberland Masters tournament since the inaugural event at Stanley in 2000, where 80 players took part in over 40s to over 60s events. This year was therefore the 21st event and Muriel still runs it with the same enthusiasm as in the early days, encouraging players to enter and play. Age groups have now expanded to include all age groups from over 35s to over 75s. and this year’s tournament saw some 112 players enter from far and wide, including Northern Ireland, Scotland, Avon, Dorset, Essex, Kent and all points north!

Many people don’t realise how much effort and organisation it takes behind the scenes before an event to make these tournaments happen and this year was certainly no exception. The impact of Covid, with many players only recently returning to play getting injured, resulted in more withdrawals than usual and much re-planning of events, partnerships and orders of play ensued.

It was planned to present the award at the 2020 Northumberland Badminton Association presentation evening but like everything else in 2020 that never happened so it was thought fitting to present this to Muriel at the weekend when her masters friends from around the country would be playing in this year’s event.

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