Rebecca Bedford

Rebecca Bedford recently returned from the 2017 Irish Para-Badminton International, held in Dublin from 22 to 25 June.

Nineteen-year-old Rebecca, who is from Yoxall and trains at Friary Leisure Centre in Lichfield, competed in the SS6 classification, playing in the singles and mixed doubles competitions. She got through to the finals and won silver medals in both categories. She also won an exhibition final match in women’s doubles with her partner, Rachel Choong.

In total there were 132 players from 25 countries at the tournament, which took place over four days. Rebecca trains at Friary Grange Leisure Centre, using the badminton courts and Evolve Fitness Suite. The leisure centre is part of Team GB Gold Club, which offers athletes exclusive discounts and benefits. And, to help Rebecca, Friary Grange has provided her with a free Premier membership of Evolve and free court use.

I’m really grateful for the support I’m receiving from Friary Grange and the Team GB Gold Club. Getting court time whilst I’m back home from university is really helpful for my tournament preparations. Also having access to the excellent fitness suite at the leisure centre is a major benefit for my strength and conditioning training.

Rebecca Bedford

Para badminton is becoming ever more competitive as the sport progresses towards its debut in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Rebecca is studying history at Sheffield University and has been selected for the inaugural GB squad, which has started intense training ready for competing in Tokyo 2020.

Rebecca’s next big competition is the World Dwarf Games in Canada in August. She is competing in singles and women’s doubles at badminton and also in shot, discus, table tennis, powerlifting, swimming and playing in the GB women’s football team. She is also training for this year’s World Championships, which is being held in South Korea in November.

Following the removal of all funding for the GB and England para badminton squads, Rebecca has to fund her own travel and accommodation at tournaments.

To help support Rebecca’s sporting dream, visit her fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rebecca-bedford. If you are interested in sponsoring Rebecca, please contact her at mail@thebedfords.simplyms.com Follow Rebecca on Twitter @becky_badminton.