General

Josef R. Benes pictured to the right (Photo: Czech Badminton Federation)
Joe Benes has passed away
Date: 11/24/2017 3:04 PM
Published by : Torsten Berg
Badminton Europe as well as the Czech and Slovak Badminton Associations mourn the passing of Josef R. Benes, the founder of the Czechoslovak Badminton Association in 1964 and one of the stalwarts of Badminton Europe from our foundation in 1967 until well into the 1990's, at the age of 95.

Joe Benes, as he was known, joined BEC - in his days known as EBU - in 1971 with the responsibility to look after our first Junior Championships. From 1974 to 1992 he served on Council, first looking after junior affairs and development and from 1979 as our Information Officer. As a professional documentalist, Joe Benes was the ideal choice for that position, and thanks to his painstaking work, well supported by his wife Nada, the history of badminton in Europe and in our Members is well documented. Their Yearbooks are important sources of details of our history and a long-lasting legacy.

Always supported by Nada, Joe contributed greatly behind the scene to forging friendship between East and West in the days of the Iron Curtain, and also took much trouble to ensure the reciprocity that helped players from countries with non-convertible currencies to compete internationally in spite of financial and other restrictions. The reciprocity principle, which was his idea developed with Emile ter Metz and Horst Kullnigg, built on reciprocal hospitality, so that when European and other events were hosted in the countries with non-convertible currency, the hosts look after the foreign players and officials, and they then reciprocated when we played west of the Iron Curtain. 

For his great contributions to badminton in Europe, Josef R. Benes became the first recipient of the BEC President's Medal in 1992 in Glasgow. He also received the BWF Distinguished Service Award in 1985.

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