Paisley-born solicitor advocate Ronnie Conway has announced his decision to step down from his position as Chair of Badminton Scotland.
He won 10 Scotland caps between 1971-1978 and contested three national singles finals, winning the title against friend and rival Tony Dawson in 1978. Along with fellow internationalist Jim Ansari, he famously refused to play against South Africa in 1975.
Conway announced his decision at last night’s Board meeting.
Originally appointed to a four-year term in 2015, Conway has decided not to seek re-election, saying: “I continue to run a full time Glasgow legal practice, and over the past year or so I began to feel I could not do justice to my position and responsibilities as Chair.
“After former Chief Executive Anne Smillie retired I felt it was important to stay in place until a suitable successor was found.
“I am sure we have found such a person in Keith Russell, and I leave the sport in good heart.”
Conway became the first Chair in Badminton Scotland’s history when he was elected to the newly created position in 2015.
Previously he had completed two terms as President of Badminton Scotland, the only person ever to have done so.
His first term stretched from 1997-1999 while his second immediately preceded his appointment as Chair, from 2013-2015.
Conway’s tenure has coincided with some of the most exciting and transformational times for badminton in Scotland including the 1997 World Team and Individual Championships and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
He was a key member of the bidding team in Lima which secured the Glasgow 2017 World Championships and played an active role as part of the local organising committee, as well as being a hugely supportive presence in the elevation of the Scottish Open to Grand Prix status.
“I started playing badminton at a Boy Scout camp in Mauchline in 1963,” he continued. “I fell in love with the game there and then and I am so proud to be associated with the sport at many different levels.
“Badminton has given me so many memories and enduring friendships.
“I am humbled every day by the efforts and commitment of the many unpaid volunteers who keep our game in Scotland alive and thriving. They are the lifeblood of the sport.
“I would also like to thank all the fantastic Badminton Scotland staff.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to have made some small contribution. I am not disappearing and will be cheering from the side-lines.”
Badminton Scotland CEO Keith Russell paid tribute to the outgoing Chair: “I would like to thank Ronnie for his service to Badminton Scotland.
“His expertise, support and advice has been crucial to the success we have enjoyed over the last few years and I have nothing but gratitude for what he has given to the sport.
“I wish Ronnie well for the future and I hope he will continue to be involved in some capacity.”
Current President Ian Campbell will assume the role of Chair until a successor is appointed.