England's oldest badminton coach, 85, won't retire – BBC


An 85-year-old badminton coach, the oldest in the country, says he has no plans of retiring.
Colin Bedford from March in Cambridgeshire says the sport has been a huge part of his life since he started playing aged 11, even helping him meet his late wife.
During the pandemic Mr Bedford said he was "very lonely" without the sport.
"Badminton – it gives me a kick, gives me a purpose in life, " he said. He's been playing the sport since he was 11.
Mr Bedford coaches at Neale-Wade Academy in March and Badminton England confirmed he is the oldest coach on record.
He said: "I get up in the morning and think 'Gosh I'm going to be playing badminton today'."
"I just love it – meeting other people, chatting to other people, coaching other people and helping them along the line," he added.
The sport has played a huge part in his life including introducing him to his wife Margaret when they played for the same club.
"We started playing badminton together when we were about 15. She came with me everywhere where we played badminton up till when she died four years ago.
"She was with me every day, we went everywhere together and badminton three and four times a week, we loved it," he said.
During the pandemic Mr Bedford said he struggled with not being able to coach and meet people.
He said: "We've had Covid for two years, I felt very lonely and really missed it [when in lockdown]. It's like sugar in a tea if you like, it's sweet, badminton is sweet. I love it, I can't get enough of it."
He said he has no intention of retiring and wants to keep going until he is at least 100, just like Captain Sir Tom Moore whom he greatly admired.
He is running an eight-hour badminton marathon at his club in March to raise money for cancer research and local charity Living Sport.
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