Northumberland Badminton Association Volunteer Awards 2019

The 2019 Northumberland Badminton Association Presentation Evening took place on Saturday 18th May at The Northumberland Club with over 100 attendees from various clubs across the county.

As usual, the NBA Volunteer Awards (donated by Ian Little from Yehlex) were awarded, with three nominees receiving these awards for their dedication and commitment to their respective clubs or the County Association over a number of years as well as the first recipient of the new Walter Arkley award being presented.

Carolyn Jackson received the first volunteer award for her commitment and dedication to Jesmond Dene Badminton Club, acting as Club Secretary for just under 20 years. Carolyn helped to find a new venue for the club when La Sagesse School was shutdown, including the eventual move to the Tyneside Badminton Centre which needed some good steering to transition as many players as possible. She has taken on the thankless task of completing the Badminton England club and player affiliations year after year, sorted out all GDPR associated with the club and has been the main conduit for information shared around the club during her time as secretary.

The second volunteer award went to Richard Taylor for his commitment to the development of junior badminton across Northumberland. Richard was originally nominated in the earlier years of these awards by his daughter Sarah, but at the time there were considered to be more worthy nominations. However, 10 years on, Richard has spent countless hours organising match dates, junior squads, junior teams, Badminton England junior circuit tournaments, squad clothing, bag packs, raffles and charity walks among various other things. He has worked with Claire Lapworth from Durham to organise what is now an annual junior cup competition between Northumberland and Durham, an event that is played with lots of children and matches in a friendly atmosphere. In addition he has given up a lot of free time to go away with teams to events such as the ICT, which also takes a lot of organisation and administration. Richard has been on the NBA Management Committee for a number of years now and heads up the business committee. He was instrumental in submitting a bid to set up what is now the NBA Futures Squad and also a further bid to obtain a £2,000 grant from Sport Newcastle in 2018 to engage more girls across Newcastle City Centre, introduce them to badminton then feed them into local clubs and squads. He also provides the NBA Treasurer, Julie Brown, with help in managing part of the junior finances.

The final volunteer award of the evening was presented to Ian Ferguson for long standing service to Northumberland Badminton Association. Ian has pretty much done everything over the years as he was County Secretary for Northumberland in the days before email and mobile phones, he took over the Northumberland Junior Club in the mid-1980s and turned it into Lloyds Junior Club, he ran a number of handicap tournaments over the years and, in 1996, he took over the League Secretary role, managing the leagues with pencil and paper and only gave it up when the leagues were computerised. Ian is held in high regard by all as he spent numerous years on the NBA Management Committee. He has been President and Chairman amongst other roles within the Association, he was on the committee well into his 80’s and also did many things for Lloyds Badminton Club. Ian did win an English Badminton Award 12 years ago for his longstanding service to English Badminton. However, to show the County’s appreciation of his efforts and his endless contributions to badminton across Northumberland, he received the third NBA Volunteer Award in 2019.

In addition to the three volunteer awards, Margaret Perry was the first recipient of the Walter Arkley Award which is in memory of longstanding volunteer, Walter Arkley, who passed away in 2017 and was very passionate about badminton in Northumberland. The award is presented in line with Walter’s passion of junior development and support. Margaret received this award for her lifelong outstanding contribution to junior badminton in Northumberland. She has been instrumental in introducing the sport to thousands of children across the county and has spent endless hours coaching and introducing children to badminton. Margaret set up a junior club in the 1990s at DSS Badminton Club and also worked in Primary Schools across Newcastle for Northumberland Badminton Association. She ran the County Junior Squad coaching and teams for over 15 years as well as accompanying several groups of juniors on trips such as Largs and the ICT. Margaret has run numerous tournaments and festivals for the County and also for schools in Newcastle. She has coached with great success in a large number of schools and had particular success at Benfield School, where she worked as a Development Officer and Coach for 15 years. Benfield Boys made the National Schools final several times and a number of her Benfield School players have gone on to represent the County. One particular success has been Philip Pahatouridis who was Northumberland County Men’s Singles Champion, at the age of 17, and is a regular member of the Senior County First Team. Margaret also set up Benfield Bears, administering and coaching the club, organising teams for matches and ferrying them around to matches. Her achievements were recognised in 2011 when she was presented with a volunteer award but she has now reached a stage in her life where she has decided to retire from all the badminton coaching and organisation.

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