March man thrown surprise party at Neale-Wade to mark 40 years of coaching

16:06 12 May 2014

Colin Bedford. Picture: Steve Williams.

Colin Bedford. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

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.”

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