Geoff Rofe, one of England’s greatest badminton supporters, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM), in the New Years Honours, for services to badminton and young people. The 93-year-old remains as passionate and committed to badminton today as he did when he began volunteering more than 50 years ago.

Throughout the whole of that time, Geoff he has carried out a wide variety of roles at local and national level. Geoff joined the Kent County Badminton Committee in 1948 where he eventually became President of the county before he was elected President of Badminton England between 2010 and 2016. On competition of his term as President, he was given the honour of becoming an Honorary Life Vice President of Badminton England – something he was very proud to receive. Starting out as a keen player, Geoff played in local tournaments and club matches in Kent before going on to run one of the most successful clubs in the county – Dartford YMCA.

The club’s membership included six international players, county and junior players – something almost unheard of for a facility with just one court! Proving his commitment and dedication to the club, he took on the roles of club manager, honorary match secretary and attended every single away match as well as home matches. All of this in addition to his full-time paid employment as a Foundry worker. Kent became one of the strongest counties in the country under Geoff’s guidance, boasting over 300 clubs and producing many top-class players – some of whom had the honour of representing their country having fell in love with the sport because of Geoff.

Throughout his work with Dartford YMCA, Kent County Badminton and Badminton England, Geoff also acted as a mentor to many people, regardless of their age or playing standard. To this day Geoff still performs key roles behind the scenes at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, as well as other major events on the badminton calendar. One of the most well-known and respected characters in the world of badminton, Geoff is thoroughly deserving of recognition of his truly outstanding services to the sport he loves.

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