General

Frank Peard – An Appreciation
Date: 9/24/2019 2:47 PM
Published by : Badminton Ireland

With the passing of Frank Peard, two weeks short of his hundredth birthday, badminton has lost one of its most enduring personalities. For about 80 years he was at the forefront in seeking to improve Irish Badminton.

 

As a player, Frank played 20 times for Ireland between 1946 and 1957. He had a highly successful playing career.He won 16 Irish Close titles and three Irish Open titles and six Scottish Open titles. He reached two All-English semifinals, one with English player Noel Radford and the other with Jim FitzGibbon. His partnership with FitzGibbon was at the very top of European Badminton. He had the distinction in playing the first match against Denmark in the first ever Thomas Cup match in 1948. He was firmly of the view that meeting stronger opposition was a requirement towards reaching ones full potential. He was a major influence on the improvement of younger players such as Chick Doyle, Mary Bryan, Yvonne Kelly and Charlie McCormack amongst others. In his keenness to promote badminton around the country he instigated many exhibition events which were very instructional and entertaining.

 

He was a very respected coach and was always willing to help younger players who had shown the right approach in improving their game. As an indication of his standing, he was invited to read a paper at the World Coaching Conference in Calgary in 1985.

 

Whilst he had a lengthy playing career, his managerial and organisational skills were available to Irish Badminton right up to the time of his death. Whilst at the height of his playing career he fitted in time to serve on the Executive Committee of the Leinster Branch for a number of years. He was the main mover in achieving the building of Terenure Centre in Whitehall Road in 1954. This was a major project and progressed Leinster Branch significantly. Badminton Union of Ireland asked Frank to act as Director of the European Championships in Dublin in 1976. This was regarded as the most successful holding of the event at the time. Whilst many volunteers were involved it could not have happened without his organisational ability. He continuously pushed the view that sporting bodies must ensure a strong and effective management side to ensure progress.

 

Within the last ten years, he has been instrumental in the setting up of Badminton Museum of Ireland. Once again this is something that would not have happened without him. He supported the museum with finance and encouragement and was a consistent help to the trustees through his remarkable memory of the past. He has donated many significant historical items to the museum. Included in many writings of his are:

 

·      Sixty Years of Irish Badminton

·      Building the Badminton Hall 1954

·      The Midland Branch 1961

·      Reorganisation of the B.U.I. 1966

·      A Policy and its Implementation 1966

·      M.B.B.U.I. 1967

·      Badminton in Holland 1969

·      Improving the Performance of Irish Badminton Teams 1970

·      Conditions for Progress 1976

 

During the bulk of this period, he enjoyed the support and encouragement of his wife Sue and for the badminton lover, it would hard to meet a more interesting and knowledgeable couple.

 

Dick O’Rafferty

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