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Horsforth Badminton chief lands Volunteer of the Year award

‘Truly inspirational’.

That is how Horsforth Badminton Club chief John Tolan has been dubbed by his peers after netting the coveted 2018 Volunteer of the Year award, sponsored by YONEX.

As coach, treasurer and secretary, Tolan wears many hats at Horsforth as he approaches 10 years with the club, one of only 75 who carry the prestigious Premier Club kitemark from Badminton England.

And his longstanding contribution has not gone unnoticed with his tireless work on the ground impressing a panel of judges who reviewed the shortlist of volunteers nominated by clubs and counties across the country.

The club has seen over 500 players – many of whom making their first steps into club badminton -come through its doors under Tolan’s tenure and the drive for new members continues as school links flourish locally.

His work to establishment afterschool clubs, feeding willing pupils from nearby Horsforth School into the club, are backed up by the delivery of primary school badminton festivals run in partnership with Leeds United Foundation.

The latest festival of badminton instigated links with five local primary schools whilst a rethink of secondary school badminton delivery attracted over 300 girls to rediscover badminton.

And Tolan’s mission is not just a numbers game for local badminton.  The club is now also feeding players into Leeds Performance Centre and county set-up after a performance session to enhance the progress of talented players was put in place.

And as for the more experienced members of the club? John uses their know how of the badminton to assist in the running of the club and, in turn, supports them to complete coaching qualifications.

Take a bow John.


John is one of the hundreds of dedicated and proud volunteers who each give up over 300 hours of their valuable time each year to make badminton happen across England each and every week.

This Volunteers Week we celebrate and applaud them all – from those who ensure our brilliant club network of clubs run smoothly to the army of helping hands who officiate or help deliver tournaments and major events.

For Volunteer Opportunities in Badminton, click here