BBC Unsung Hero: Badminton coach wins South East award

Badminton coach New wins South East award

BBC South East's Sports Unsung Hero award has been won by long-serving badminton coach Frank New.

The 89-year-old joined Folkestone Badminton Club 30 years ago and has primarily worked with the junior section since then.

"One or two people might become very good players, but the important thing is they enjoy coming," he told BBC South East Today.

"I don't do it just to get recognised. I want other people to love the sport."

New first became a badminton coach just after the second world war in Essex.

He still volunteers at the Folkestone Sports Centre every Saturday, despite suffering a minor stroke 18 months ago.

"If I can do a little bit, it's worth doing," he said.

"With some of the kids, I have taught their parents. I have had a lot of satisfaction and I want them to get it too."

Steve Dewey, who nominated New for the award, described the octogenarian as "inspirational".

He said: "Frank has been here for over 30 years teaching youngsters and been a phenomenal man in the badminton world.

"He loves to see young people playing badminton. It has been such a big part of his life and he has given so much to so many people over the years. He loves the game and gets a big thrill out of it."

New will now go forward for the national award, which will be presented at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Glasgow on Sunday, 14 December.

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