March man thrown surprise party at Neale-Wade to mark 40 years of coaching
16:06 12 May 2014
A former county player who has devoted 40 years to coaching badminton was thrown a surprise party on Wednesday.
Colin Bedford, of Norwood Avenue, March, was greeted by 55 past and present pupils when he arrived at Neale-Wade Academy’s sport centre to run a weekly session.
To mark the milestone, he was presented with a certificate by Neale-Wade’s head of sport David Kenning.
Mr Bedford first picked up a racket while in the army in Malaya more than 50 years ago.
He said: “It was the national sport so everyone played it out there. I was only 18 at the time. I really got the hang of it and have played it since.”
In his 40 years he has coached at six different venues - the Old Hereward School, the Conservative Hall on Creek Road, the Further Education Centre, the old High school on County Road, the dining hall at the Neale-Wade Academy and its sports centre.
The retired driving instructor, who represented Cambridgeshire for 25 years, has no intention of slowing down - he still runs sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
He said: “I’ve always been interested in helping people, I used to be a driving instructor.
“I still enjoying coaching youngsters and it keeps me fit so I’ll definitely keep going.”