Founder of children’s badminton club in Biggleswade retires after 40 years

Janice Buckle is to retire from Biggleswade Junior Badminton Club on April 9 after volunteering for 40 years

By Olivia Preston
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 4:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 5:56 pm

The club was started by Pauline Gauge and Janice in February 1982 for their sons and their friends who wanted to play badminton outside of school hours.

The club operates at Stratton Upper School sports hall on Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 5.30pm for children aged eight to 18 years old.

Matches and tournaments were arranged against different clubs from Bedfordshire and Biggleswade had many successes.

Janice receiving an engraved vase from Derek Batchelor, Chairman of the Bedfordshire Badminton Association.

Many children went on to play for Bedfordshire Junior county and some progressed to play at senior level.

For 40 years Janice has dedicated her time to running the club aided by various volunteers who have had badminton experience, including Sue Akerman, who is retiring after 25 years.

Recently Janice was presented with an engraved vase from Derek Batchelor, Chairman of Bedfordshire Badminton Association, as a thank you for all her hard work.

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Janice and fellow retiring volunteer, Sue with Derek.

He also presented flowers to Janice and Sue on behalf of Badminton England, of which he is vice president and to which the club is affiliated.

Janice said: “I shall be sorry to leave as I have enjoyed my time with the club. It has been great to watch the children develop and see the club go from strength to strength. I feel it’s time for a younger person to take over.”

The club will continue under the name of “SmashIt” with Anna Collis taking over the reins.