The winners of the National Volunteer & Coach Awards 2022 were presented on finals day at the YONEX All England Open Championships in Birmingham on March 20.
To recognise the phenomenal work of our voluntary workforce, Badminton England present two awards annually; Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by YONEX) and Geoff Rofe Young Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by YONEX). These prestigious titles are awarded to two volunteers who have stood out in demonstrating undoubted passion, commitment and dedication to badminton in the last twelve months and had a positive impact and influence on others’ experience within the sport.
The new Grassroots Coach Award was introduced for 2022 and celebrates coaches who are working tirelessly in the community to provide a positive experience to a large number of players through their clear passion for the sport.
The winner of the 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award (sponsored by YONEX) was Jess Canfield, who is the Club Secretary and Level 2 coach at Liskeard Junior and Inclusive Badminton Club.
Jess’ hard work results in the club (and all other feeder sessions linked to the main club) successfully returning to play after the pandemic. She increased the number of sessions and playing opportunities, successfully applied for additional funding for the club as well as establishing a new team for entry into the local league.
She increased club participation with taster sessions and advertising through social media, helped to run a Disability Festival and set up an over 55 session, in partnership with the local leisure centre and Active Cornwall.
Jess also attends Cornwall County Badminton Association meetings to represent the club, mentors young leaders and Foundation coaches and recently set up a new Essentials course to teach the basics of badminton to beginners.
The 2022 Geoff Rofe Young Volunteer of the Year Award (sponsored by YONEX) was awarded to Oscar Butler, who has shown huge potential as a young volunteer in Norfolk.
Oscar regularly supports eight hours of badminton activity each week and has thrown himself into numerous volunteering opportunities over the last year.
These include working closely with a Level 2 coach at his local junior club (Eaton Eagles Junior Club), helping the younger age groups in the county set up, encouraging the younger players in his school as well as volunteering at both local & national events.
He also attended the 2021 virtual Young Leader Academy, which was run by Badminton England.
Finally, the 2022 Grassroots Coach of the Year Award was presented to Keith Burns, who has dedicated himself to Abbey Badminton Club in Hertfordshire for over 14 years.
Keith has built up the club to have sessions every day at different venues in different areas. He has a team of volunteer Level 1 coaches, some of whom have been coached by him since they were juniors.
Their loyalty and dedication to his club shows how he has nurtured and developed these individuals. He channels his love of the sport by arranging social and competitive matches to assist players in their development and, after the lockdown periods, put a lot of time and effort into finding alternative venues which were taking bookings, so all sessions could resume.
Through his personality and skill as a coach, he has promoted a culture within the club where everyone interacts in a friendly, open and welcoming manner.
Click here to find out more about the Badminton England National Volunteer & Coach Awards and to read the full write up on the 2022 winners.