Four awards for badminton partnership at two events

Garylee McMullen, left, and Steve Sharp with their PL4S awards.
Garylee McMullen, left, and Steve Sharp with their PL4S awards.

Members of the North Tyneside Badminton Partnership have had an award-winning week, collecting four prizes at two different presentation evenings.

At the first ever Regional Premier League 4 Sport Awards (PL4S) held at Middlesbrough FC’s stadium, Garylee McMullen and Steve Sharp each picked up an award.

Mike Waterfield, left, and Dennis Gray with their awards.

Mike Waterfield, left, and Dennis Gray with their awards.

McMullen collected the Young Sports Achievement Award. He was first persuaded to play badminton through the PL4S programme by the director of sport at his school, John Spence Community High School, and quickly progressed through the sport.

He is now playing on the senior county teams and is still linked to the PL4S programme, but now as an assistant coach at the sessions he used to attend

Sharp is an inspirational coach, and has been involved in the PL4S programme since it began in 2009.

Thanks to him, thousands of children throughout North Tyneside have been introduced to badminton.

His aim is to encourage as many children as possible to take up the sport and to enjoy it and to progress.

At the Sport Newcastle Unsung Heroes Awards, held at Sport Central in Newcastle, two long standing volunteers, Mike Waterfield and Dennis Gray, were rewarded for their very many years of unpaid voluntary work for badminton.

Without people like Waterfield and Gray there would not be as many opportunities for people of all ages to play badminton.

Both have worked tirelessly over the years to set up sessions, write funding applications, organise and run events, collect fees etcetera – the list is endless.

Waterfield is currently treasurer of the North Tyneside Badminton Partnership (NTBP), which he established with his wife Norma, and which has been, and still is, highly successful locally as well as nationally.

He has also been for many years, a member of the Northumberland Badminton Association Management Committee, currently acting as registration secretary, assistant secretary, and DBS (CRB) verifier, as well as helping with other administrative matters.

Gray attends the NTBP meetings as a representative of the county and the Northumberland Performance Centre, with which he is highly involved.

Gray is the current chairman of the county’s management committee and has a long history of helping organise opportunities for young people to play and progress in badminton.