A local sporting hero is celebrating after a Fenland gymnasium was renamed after him in recognition of his dedication to the game he loved.
Since March, 86-year-old Colin Bedford is currently the country’s oldest badminton coach, turning up twice a week to run the city’s badminton club at the Neal-Wade Academy gymnasium.
He has been using the venue since the gym opened more than 40 years ago, and before that he coached at the former Harvard School.
Colin has used his reach in the community to raise many funds for charities close to his heart, including Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon and Cancer Research UK.
The most recent event he ran at Neill-Wade was a badminton marathon which saw old and new players from the club taking part in the game and raising around £2,000 for the charity.
As a result of Colin’s amazing commitment, Neal-Wade Academy decided to honor him by naming the gym after him.
Ben Watson, Sports Center Manager, says: “The decision to name the gym after Colin was an easy one and it was only after speaking with the school’s headteacher Graham Horne and head of department Sam Bathurst that we all decided this was it. is the right way to show our appreciation for his loyalty and dedication not only to the school but to everyone who has ever attended one of Colin’s badminton training sessions.”
This week Colin, who has been playing the game for more than 75 years and has been coaching for 55 years, accompanied the unveiling of a plaque marking the new name, The Colin Bedford Sports Hall.
He said. “I can’t believe it, it’s a real honor and I’m really proud that the hall that has meant so much to me playing badminton over the years now bears my name.
“Colin doesn’t look like he’s going to stop anytime soon and he’s a pleasure to work with.”