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It is with regret that we have to report the passing of Fred Chinnery, after a protracted period of illness, Monday 10th October.
Fred himself had a long badminton history as player and coach. He first played badminton in Middlesex around 1945, organising teams to play in the local works leagues. About the same time as he was selected to play for the Middlesex County team he decided to qualify as a coach. He moved to Stevenage New Town in 1955, to find there were few organised sports clubs in this part of Hertfordshire. So he persuaded the management of British Visqueen to mark out a badminton court in the middle of their spacious factory. He started a badminton club there, and (with others)
created the Stevenage Works league. At this time he also played for Herts County team, was elected to the HBA committee where he became a County Selector, eventually being elected President.
His influence on junior badminton opportunities, particularly in the 70’s, was similarly far-reaching. With Malcolm Fraser, Fred was instrumental in forming the Herts Schools Badminton Association, and was elected coach and selector to the Herts County Junior team. Malcolm and Fred spent many Sundays transporting the team to matches throughout the Eastern region, and Fred later became selector for the Eastern Region Junior team.
It was while he was injured and unable to play that Fred decided to coach full time in local secondary schools. He realised keen and talented youngsters were not being accepted by local adult clubs. So he began a coaching club for youngsters 6-18 years old at John Henry Newman school. In this venture he was ably helped by Pam, his wife, who undertook many of the administrative tasks, including their successful application for Premier Club status. When Shephall Sports Hall opened the club moved there, becoming known as SCOBE (Stevenage Centre of Badminton Excellence) under leadership of Fred and Pam’s son, Bruce, but with Fred retaining an active interest and Pam continuing with admin. The club closed in July 2013.
In October 2009 Fred was presented with the Herts Sports Partnership Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to badminton over so many years, but his true reward and legacy are the many players he coached, some of whom played for the County or for their University, and many of whom are still playing in local clubs.
Good to see Herts players and coaches with the GB Badminton Team in Rio.
Herts Vets player, Jon Austin, left of Rajiv (from neighbouring Middlesex) and Level 3 coach, Peter Jeffrey, 2 to his right. Follow the action on Twitter with BE's Lauren
Herts Parabadminton Tournament 23 July 2016
A really enjoyable tournament at Herts Sports Village.