CONGRATULATIONS Andy Cooke MBE on being appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.
Andy has dedicated the last six decades of his life to the coaching, training and nurturing of badminton players to World, European and Commonwealth medals and to Scottish National titles, whilst simultaneously teaching and coaching to all levels of recreational player.
At the age of 82, Andy has now been involved in sport his entire life (playing Junior football, Bowls and Badminton, amongst many other sports), but it was in 1977 at that age of 40, that Andy became Scotland’s first professional Badminton coach and he’s been coaching and training players professionally ever since (42 years and counting).
From being a hero bus driver (driving his bus into a flood to save trapped motorists), driving coaches, to coaching and driving others, to recreational, national and international success, he has dedicated his life to the development and promotion of the sport. Apart from his innovative on-court approaches, Andy’s Summer Training Sessions on the hills and on the sands are legendary and are still talked about today, with many of his innovative approaches to coaching and to training being adopted across sports and across continents.
Andy has been recognised for his achievements over the years and been awarded the UK Coach of the Year Award, the Scottish Coach of the Year Award, the Stirling University Peter Bilsborogh Tribute Trophy for Outstanding Professional Coaching.
Andy’s career has also seen him coaching in Africa, when he was appointed as the national Coach for the Kenyan National Badminton Team, for the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Australia. However, his greatest achievements are to be found in the testimonials of the hundreds and hundreds of players, from recreational to international level, who have benefited from the commitment, encouragement and dedication that he gives to every single player he has ever worked with.
Although technically retired, Andy is sought out by generation after generation of player and coach (he’s known as the Coaches Coach), and can still be found helping out with the coaching at Grangemouth Sports Complex with the Andy Cooke Badminton and Fitness Team, philosophizing and passing on his knowledge, experience and wisdom to recreational players and to current World Masters medalists and to the next generation of world class junior champions.
(Photograph of Andy by Lenny Warren Media)