TONY BRISTOW has been involved with badminton at local and national level for almost 40 years, making a massive contribution to the sport.

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Yet, despite that, the veteran was still “in shock” when he picked up the BBC Radio Suffolk Unsung Hero Award for his work as a volunteer making an outstanding contribution to local sport.

Tony has been involved in numerous roles in the sport, including being chair of Suffolk Badminton Association, treasurer of England Schools’ Badminton Association and team manager of various England teams at international competitions in the past.

Despite these many high-profile roles and commitments, additionally with Suffolk Schools Badminton Association, Tony has always been happy to help out at the grassroots level and can often be found helping at local school events, scoring at the side of the court accompanied by his wife.

In recent years, Tony has been responsible for overseeing and driving the modernisation of Suffolk Schools Badminton Association and was recognised on the night for his patient, selfless contribution

“I’m in shock and it means a great deal,” said Tony.

“You don’t get many rewards in badminton so it is a great honour as well as being good for the sport, which is not as popular as football or rugby, but is probably not a minority sport either.”

While not at the forefront of sport in Britain, Tony is happy with the sport’s profile in the country and believes that participation levels in Suffolk are to be proud of.

“In terms of affiliation, we are probably one of the bigger counties, despite our small population,” he said.

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