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Para-badminton head coach Richard Morris has been recognised for his outstanding work at the 2021 UK Coaching Awards.

Morris took home the High Performance Coach of the Year title at a glitzy ceremony in Leeds, where some of the UK’s most impactful coaches and organisations were celebrated.

The Sheffield-based trainer, one of 18 winners honoured on the night, led the Paralympics GB badminton squad to two medals in Tokyo in the summer, with Dan Bethell earning silver and Krysten Coombs bringing back bronze.

It was a stunning return in para-badminton’s maiden appearance at the Games and now Morris has received the recognition his hard work deserves.

“It just felt amazing to be awarded high performance coach of the year,” he said.

“To do it in any year is amazing, but in a Paralympic and Olympic year is very special.

“I didn’t even know I was getting put forward for it, it just came through on an email that I had been shortlisted as a finalist, and I thought ‘wow’.

“That was a big enough surprise, I was impressed with that in itself. When I saw the others on the shortlist I thought I have no chance of winning!

“It was the same as Danny (Bethell)’s medal and (Krysten) Coombs’ medal, it is just a great reflection on the team and the effort everyone has put in.

“It was brilliant to pick up the award but without the support of the team I wouldn’t have been able to get it in the first place. I am just so proud.”

Also nominated for the award were canoe slalom coach Craig Morris and gymnastics coach Scott Hann MBE and being in the presence of so many other great minds from across the sporting spectrum made it a night for Morris to savour.

“Just to go the ceremony and listen to all the other people who have done so much for their sport was a great experience,” he added.

“I was inspired just sitting there and listening to the others. It gave the award even more prestige than I first realised.

“To be recognised in this way is huge, but to get it in a Paralympic and Olympic year with so many others inspiring, just makes me even more grateful to win this.”

Everyone at Badminton England would like to further congratulate Rich and his team on this brilliant achievement and wish them all the best for a successful 2022.

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