Success Stories

Update from Marie Akhurst - 30 April

Waragem, Belgium - CPEDI3*; what an incredible experience my first International abroad. It was a massive competition with 23 countries present and 92 riders competing. It was definitely the competition to be at!!

I could not be prouder of my horse, Sky, who took everything in his stride; the ferry journey to the busy showground nothing fazed him. Sky loved competing on the big stage and rose to the occasion. He had a wonderful time and is looking forward to the next time already!

Without my team I would not have been able to achieve what we did in Waragem; I have the best team around me who all work together to support me and Sky. A massive thank you to my amazing trainer Rob who came with us in the lorry and was fantastic all week. I cannot thank all my supporters and sponsors enough. Thank you to my parents and family for always being there and supporting me; my friends at home that watched the live stream and cheered us on. A special thank you to the The Anders Foundation who made this trip possible.

My class Grade 1 was a big class full of European, World Equestrian Games and Paralympic medallists and participants and those that have a lot more International experience than me and Sky. So just to be placed was an incredible achievement. It was unfortunate that we had the fly incident in the team test (losing us 15 marks but we still finished 7 th with just under 70%). I had the 3 rd highest individual score (71%+ 4 th ) and 2 nd highest GB freestyle score. It was fantastic to see the GB flag on the board on the final day in the prize giving (Freestyle 72.967% 3 rd ); with one judge giving me 77%+ and two judges having me in 2 nd .

I am delighted with my placings (at my first International abroad) but next time would like to be on the top spot, so between now and the next competition we are going to work even harder to find those extra marks (which we know are there). Sky’s way of going is very consistent now the pilot needs to work harder on her accuracy!!

Competing on the big stage was an eye opener and seeing the talent of horses and the walk of some off the Grade 1 horses! It is fantastic to know that me and Sky are now up with the best Grade 1 horses in the world and not only that but we were placed and beat some of them in the process.

Update from Marie Durward-Akhurst - 27 March 2019

I competed my young horse (Bear) at the weekend and he scored 71.1% and came 1st; this shows that our hard work over the winter months has paid off and what an exciting prospect he is. It was our first competition of 2019, so a great start. I will now be concentrating on my other horse Sky and our preparations for the International in Belgium. On our return I will be looking to get the remaining points with Bear to qualify him for the Gold Semi Finals he has 10 and needs 12 so we are pretty close.

Update from Marie Durward-Akhurst - 27 March 2019

U19 Derbyshire Gold 19/20 January 2019

The Anders Foundation supported the event again this year, a good entry was received with many exciting games.

MS W Neil Bahbuta RU Jack Taylor
WS W Pamela Reyes RU Alexandra Oprisan
MS W Alex Green/Cholan Kayan RU Neil Bahbuta/Jack Taylor
WD W Estelle Van Leeuwen/Holly Williams RU Amy Hayhoe/Katie Scott
XD W Alex Green/Estelle Van Leeuwen RU Nathan Moore/Milly Evans

U19 Derbyshire Gold.
U19 Derbyshire Gold.
U19 Derbyshire Gold.
U19 Derbyshire Gold.
U19 Derbyshire Gold.
U19 Derbyshire Gold.

2018 Yearly Update from Marie Durward-Akhurst

Wow I wasn’t sure we could better 2017 but we certainly have done! Dreams have come true this year and it really does show that perseverance and hard work pays off. None of what I have achieved would have been possible without my amazing support team, my family and all my fantastic sponsors and supporters.

Living with a changing condition has its challenges but my motto is “everything happens for a reason” and I’m a fighter!! I really enjoy inspiring others to get involved in Para sport in particular Para Dressage; this year acting as a mentor for a young para rider. I also enjoyed carrying out my role as an Ambassador for Arctic One and was delighted and honoured to have been asked to be an Ambassador for the Douglas Bader Foundation (DBF).

Sky has been a complete superstar and our results speak for themselves 3rd Winter Para Dressage Gold Championships, Gold Semi Finals 2nd 70%, Hartpury CPEDI3* (1st overall Grade 1, winner of Individual and Freestyle test) with 71%+ and 73%+ and British Dressage Nationals Para Gold Championships 1st National Champion 70%+.

Bear has come on leaps and bounds this year and we are so close to that 70%. I am really looking forward to next year and getting more experience under our belts and I am sure that our scores will be on the rise.

Marie Durward-Akhurst.

I have had my most successful year to date finishing the year as an International and National champion. I was one of only 12 to achieve the selection criteria for the World Equestrian Games and I beat a Paralympian at my grade for the first time; the first GB rider to do this. I was also awarded a head collar at the British Dressage National convention for winning my class at the Nationals.

Despite not being selected onto the World Class programme my team and I will still be campaigning for the 2019 Europeans. I am really looking forward to stepping up another level with both horses and aiming for the 73%+ scores with Sky which we are already so close too!! I am also excited about starting public speaking as an inspirational speaker. Bring on 2019.

Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament

The 2018 Wimbledon U19 Gold Badminton Tournament took place at the Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club on 13/14th October. Once again it hosted the cream of English youngsters and the standard of play reflected the quality of the players.

The star of the show was Harry Huang who picked up three titles in the Men’s Singles from Rory Easton, Men’s Doubles (with partner Ethan van Leeuwen ) overcoming local opposition from Surrey’s William Jones and Brandon Yap from Essex, and Mixed Doubles with Asmita Choudhari against Brandon Yap and Leah Allen.

Amy Hayhoe from Norfolk took the Women’s Singles from Surrey’s Alexandra Oprisan. Asmita Choundhari completed a double win with partner Annie Lado in the Women’s doubles outlasting Abbygael Harris and Pamela Reyes in three long games.

The organisers of the tournament once again expressed their grateful thanks to the Anders Foundation for their continued support. The generous prize money is a great help to these upcoming players who all hope to represent England in senior badminton in the near future. At a time when Badminton has lost much of its funding this support is invaluable to allow them to train and compete as necessary to fulfill their ambitions and further the profile of English Badminton throughout the world.

The Anders Foundation thanks both Val Andrew, Referee, and Jenny Lacey for organizing the event.

Ladies doubles winners, their trophies presented by Georgina Nielsen, daughter of Anders:
Asmita Choundhari with partner Annie Lado and runners-up, Abbygael Harris and Pamela Reyes.

Ladies doubles winners, their trophies presented by Georgina Nielsen, daughter of Anders: Asmita Choundhari with partner Annie Lado and runners-up, Abbygael Harris and Pamela Reyes.

Mens doubles winners, Harry Huang & Ethan van Leeuven. R-up: Brendan Yap and Will Jones.

Mens doubles winners, Harry Huang & Ethan van Leeuven. R-up: Brendan Yap and Will Jones.

Mixed winners, Harry Huang with partner Asmita Choudhari . R-up: Leah Allen and Brandon Yap.

Mixed winners, Harry Huang with partner Asmita Choudhari . R-up: Leah Allen and Brandon Yap.

Mens singles winner, Harry Huang, with r-up, Rory Easton

Mens singles winner, Harry Huang, with r-up, Rory Easton.

Amy Hayhoe from Norfolk won the Women’s Singles against Surrey’s Alexandra Oprisan.

Amy Hayhoe from Norfolk won the Women’s Singles against Surrey’s Alexandra Oprisan.

Visions Badminton Academy

Sue Williams writes...

Thank you so much for supporting us this year with our inclusive badminton sessions. These sessions run on a Sunday and are for all school children in the East Devon area.

For some of these players it is the only club outside of school that they can access due to the demands of the individual players. We have a range of abilities and ages, the players all work on an individual basis or in small groups.

During the session they work on hand eye coordination, movement and rackets skills and exercises that will help with their specific disabilities, some have exercises from their physiotherapist while other players work on wheel chair movement skills.

We have young helpers from our local community college who assist the players and also David Follett who plays wheel chair Badminton for England and Dee Fernley Weiner who this year went to the Special Olympic Games as coaches alongside myself and Sharon. Without your help we would really struggle to run these sessions so your support is very much appreciated.

Many thanks from all the coaches and players.

Visions Badminton Academy

Marie Durward-Akhurst

Once again our congratulations to Marie on retaining her National title.

Marie writes on the 21st September:

I am very tired but delighted to say Sky and I became Para-Dressage Grade 1 Gold National Champions again today retaining our title from last year.

The weather was awful. But Sky was a superstar and did a really good test. We scored over 70% with two judges giving us over 72%. A very good day at the office. A massive high to end our year (well major shows are over maybe a few qualifiers left)!

See a video from Marie by following this link

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Becky Turner

Silver for Becky and Team GB at Downs Syndrome Swimming World Championships

On the 19th July Gloucester City swimmer Becky Turner travelled to Truro, Nova Scotia in Canada to represent Great Britain at the 9th Downs Syndrome World Swimming Championships. During the week long competition over 200 athletes took part from 24 countries.

The championships were officially opened on the night before the competition began with an opening ceremony in the centre of Truro. The teams were welcomed and announced to the crowd consisting of supporters and the public in the main square. This was then followed by some typical Nova Scotian entertainment with local bands and a quartet of drummers.

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Becky competed in six individual races and one relay during the 5 day competition. Becky achieved two personal best times in two of her races - the 50m freestyle and the 50m breaststroke and she swam close to her seasons’ best time in another two - the 50m backstroke and the 100m backstroke. In her 50 m freestyle race Becky finished second in the race and received a silver ‘heat’ medal.

The highlight of the week came on the 3rd day of competition when Becky swam in the 4x200m Freestyle relay final. This was Becky’s first experience of swimming in a final at an international competition and she was a little nervous. Becky swam the second leg of the relay in a race that saw GB and USA competing for the Bronze medal position behind the Australian and Italian teams. It was a very tense race that resulted in GB finishing in third place. This was exciting enough and quite unbelievable but then news came through that a team had been disqualified! This meant a nervous few minutes for everyone and then it was announced that Australia who had finished first were the team disqualified- this meant that GB were now in silver medal position. The medal ceremony took place almost immediately after the race. There was just enough time to get the girls draped in union jacks ready to go up to the podium. It was a very proud moment indeed.

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On the last evening all the swimmers, their teams and supporters attended a gala celebration evening to celebrate a fantastic week of swimming. It was held in the ice hockey stadium next to the pool! Team GB finished in second place overall behind Australia which was a fantastic achievement. Becky thoroughly enjoyed her third experience of international competition and spending time with her GB team mates.

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Anders foundation update since June 2017

The Anders Foundation has assisted the following charities, events and individuals since June 2017:


1. Dee Weiner and John Hooper to attend the Special Olympics in Sheffield
2. Training: England U16-U19 players versus former English senior Internationals Milton Keynes
3. Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament
4. Talent spotting training once a month for youngsters with disabilities in conjunction with the Charity, Cares4Kids. One of these youngsters, Emma Stoner, now plays for Surrey Under14 able bodied team!
5. Alex Lane winner of the 2017 English National Mens’ Singles.
6. Wimbledon Deaf Team to participate in Sutton & District League.
7. Grants to both Krysten Coombs, Jack Shepherd and their coach, Richard Morris, to train and travel to Korea for the World ParaBadminton Championships. Jack won the Dwarf category with Krysten runner-up. They were runners-up in the mens’ doubles. (Sport England has now given preparation grants for the ParaBadminton Olympics in Tokyo in 2020)
8. Derby U19 Badminton Tournament
9. Youth Badminton Team to travel to Glasgow for International event
10. England Team to travel to European Deaf Championships
11. Coaching grant for Emma Stoner, a young talented ParaBadminton player

12. Grants for young talented able bodied players who are not financed by Badminton England
13. National School Champions, Westgate School, Winchester, to compete in the World Badminton School Games in Pune, India
14. Martin Rooke, ParaBadminton Wheelchair player, help towards qualifying for Tokyo Paralympics.

Riding for Disabled

1. Bedford & District RDA
2. St. Ives & Bingley RDA
3. Marida Akhurst-Durward ParaDressage Rider who is currently in the National semi-finals and has just been selected to represent Great Britain for the first time in July 2018.
4. Cotswold RDA


1. Becky Turner to travel to Canada for Downs Syndrome Swimming Championships


St. Raphael’s Hospice, North Cheam, Surrey. Purchase of 6 reclining chairs they needed for patients’ rooms

Marie Durward-Akhurst

An update from Marie from the Hartpury international festival of dressage July 2018:

Yes I beat Sophie Christensen who has represented GB at the Paralympics and is a triple gold medallist. I also won the freestyle on the last day. It was an amazing week. It’s an amazing feeling that all mine and my teams hard work has paid off.


Report Below:

International Champion

I have always dreamed of winning an international and always imagined what it would be like hearing the national anthem play. Well thanks to my amazing horse, mine and my teams hard work my dream has become a reality! The last few days have been incredible and I have enjoyed every minute.

Day 1 Vet Check, Arena Familiarisation and Trot Up

Day 2 Team Test

We were all really pleased with my team test and were a bit disappointed when the score came out at just under 70% and I finished 3rd. Unfortunately one judge pulled me right down that’s dressage for you. But I finished in the top 3 who were all very close. I wanted to come out of all of my tests saying that we had done our best and I came out of my Team Test saying that.

Day 3 Individual Test

I came out of my Individual test smiling and we were so delighted when my score came up and it was over 71%. It was a fantastic test and the score showed that. It was a waiting game as my score was the highest on the board but there was still one more score to go, so we had all our fingers and toes crossed. After what felt like hours rather than minutes it was confirmed I had won, the score to go up had gone into 4th place. My feelings/words straight after finding out I had won: “Lost for words. Over the moon. We only went and won the Individual Test with over 71%!! It's a dream come true. I cannot thank my whole team enough and my super-duper horse Sky who I love so much and am so proud off! Our first ever international win”

Day 4 Freestyle Test

It felt strange going into a test as an international champion but also a pretty good feeling. Sky felt amazing whilst he was walking around the outside of the arena before the bell went. He loves his music and always rises to the occasion and dances. We were spot on with our music and then we went down the centre line for the last time and I’m not sure what happened but we finished a tiny bit early. I was kicking myself as wanted to be spot on - last year I was late and this year I was early, so maybe next year I will be spot on! I was still really pleased with our performance. Due to the live stream my sister messaged me to say did you get 73+%? We had a look at the online score board and yes I had got over 73% but “oh my word everyone else had 70% so it meant I had won again! “I couldn’t believe it another win!” This week couldn’t get any better, am so proud of Sky and my team.

Hearing the National Anthem play was fantastic and brought tears to my eyes! Hearing the words Mari Durward-Akhurst and Sky O’Hara first was also pretty special. I am now the top Grade 1 in GB which is an amazing feeling and one that I can hopefully hold onto.

Waking up as an International Champion the morning after was a wonderful feeling! Realising that all mine and my teams hard work has paid off and we have done it. It really is a dream come true and we are all on cloud 9 and will be for some time!!

I cannot thank everyone enough who has supported me and continues to; so that I can continue to live my dream. Dealing with a recent deterioration in my condition and trying to focus on competing at an International wasn’t an easy task! But I managed to do that; all I can do is stay positive and focus on my riding and staying in the saddle!

Mari Durward-Akhurst
Mari Durward-Akhurst
Mari Durward-Akhurst

Becky Turner

The Anders Foundation is delighted to support Becky Turner GB Downes Syndrome swimmer in her quest to win medals at the World Championship in Canada July 2018.

Becky Turner

Swimming at her first world championships - Becky is in middle lane.

Becky Turner

Flying the Union Jack at the world championships in Florence.

Becky Turner
Becky Turner

Paris - European championships first day October 2017

Becky Turner

Below-July 2016 - the opening ceremony of the first Triosomy Games - a multi sports event for athletes with Downs Syndrome - it was held in the streets of Florence. The swimming competition was also the World Championships - this was Becky’s first competition as a GB swimmer.

Becky Turner

Mari Akhurst Durward

Mari Akhurst Durward has just been selected to represent Great Britain in July with her horse "Sky" at Hartpury Equestrian Centre, Gloucestershire, at the Hartpury 3* International.

Mari recently came second behind the triple Paralympic Gold Medalist at Wellington Equestrian Centre, Hook, Hants.

Our congratulations to Mari.

Mari Akhurst Durward
Mari Akhurst Durward

Emma Stoner

The Anders Foundation is helping Emma have regular individual coaching as she has progressed so well within our Talent Spotting Sessions over the last few years.

The 2017-2018 badminton season has ended on a high note for para-badminton player Emma Stoner. Having been selected for the Surrey U14A team, she enjoyed her first season of (non para) county matches. The season ended well; Surrey attended the annual invitational tournament in York against seven other county teams. Having progressed through the group stages, they won a hard fought semi final against Lothian and were through to the final against Yorkshire. The final was very close but Surrey narrowly conceded victory and took home silver medals. A week later, history repeated itself at the Shires Final held in Wolverhampton, Surrey again playing well but ultimately losing in the final to a strong Yorkshire side. The team should be proud of their achievements, expertly guided by their coaches Tom Saunders and Jackie Cunningham. They certainly won the prize for loudest team support! Emma also got the chance to take part in a coaching session at Ebbisham with two of her badminton hero's - Rajiv Ouseph and Chris Langridge - and was very interested to hear about Chris's experiences in the Surrey junior programme. She has plans to do lots more tournaments next year. Huge thanks to the Anders Foundation for all the continued support and encouragement, without which none of this would have been possible.

Surrey Under 14A Badminton Team

Surrey Under 14A Badminton Team

Emma Stoner

Emma Stoner

Emma Stoner and her partner, Lily

Emma Stoner and her partner, Lily, receiving coaching from England players, Rajiv Ouseph and Chris Langridge. Rajiv is former European mens’ singles champion, and Chris is Rio Olympic Bronze Medallist in mens’ doubles.

World School Games 2018

Westgate School

World School Games 2018

Pune – India

Team : Leah Allen, Tash Lado, Megan Thomas, Angie Wong

Coaches : Kat Hurrell & Rob Wylie

From the 18th to the 25th of April 2018 The Westgate School badminton team were given the opportunity to represent England playing in the World School Games in Pune, India. Having won gold in the National Schools Championships previously in 2017 this allowed them to qualify representing Team England in this prestigious event. Firstly the teams were welcomed with the opening ceremony and were lead in by horses. Tash Lado had the honour of leading England in on one of these horses. The opening ceremony included cultural dances and encouraging speeches and the tournament was nearing a start.

The competition began in the impressive 16 court arena after the opening ceremony. Westgate faced the strong French national team first, followed by China, Brazil and India B. The competition was strong and they gave some very good performances as a team finishing 6th in the world overall. Although the atmosphere was highly competitive and fierce the event gave opportunities to meet and interact with all of the other players from around the world.

After four tough days of competition in the 40 degree heat, the cultural programme was to follow, this included visiting castles and temples as well as the large street market in Pune. Here the team were able to witness the hardships and differences of life in India. One of the final nights consisted of a cultural evening where each nation held a stall relating to their country, containing national paraphernalia and delicacies. Each country also had to complete a performance on stage to the other Nations. This was a high spirited and enthusiastic event which the whole team thoroughly enjoyed.

Whilst preparing for the trip, money was raised in order to provide sporting equipment to a local Indian school. While the team were there they were lucky enough to be able to personally go and present the sports equipment along with meeting and talking with the children and the founder of the School. This was a moment that was particularly enjoyed by the team as they were able to see the impact they could make on the school first hand.

Thanks go to The Anders Foundation, Match Sports Agency and everyone that contributed to the Crowdfunding page. This experience was so different to any opportunity ever had before and they would collectively would like to thank everyone who made it possible for them to go. Overall an incredible time at The World School Games.

Westgate School at the World School Games 2018
Westgate School at the World School Games 2018

Mari Akhurst Durward

Last year:

I came 4th at the Winter Para Dressage Gold Championships with Sky, a wonderful achievement considering my trainer had been ill and I had to find a new trainer at very short notice.

Qualified and competed both horses at the Gold Semi Finals. Got selected to represent GB with both horses at Hartpury 3* International. Sky finished three times and this was second to a triple Paralympic gold medalist. Bear finished in the top 6 which was a great achievement for his first ever international and shows that we have an exciting future in the sport.

Sky and I qualified to compete at the Gold Finals at the British Dressage National Championships. We won and became Grade 1 Gold National Champion. Sky and I received the selection criteria for the Para Dressage Europeans 2017. I was selected onto the BEF Excel Talent Programme.

The results I have achieved this year have been incredible and really show that hard work pays off. With the continued deterioration in my condition it has not been easy but I have stuck with it and will continue to keep fighting. A lot of people have asked me how do you do it and that I am very inspiring but I have one motto and that is ‘everything happens for a reason’; I can do it as I have a goal and that’s to win a gold medal and until I do that I will not stop!

I am already so excited about 2018 and am really hoping we can step up another level, aiming for selection for a major championship this would be the absolute icing on the cake and would bring me a massive step closer to winning my first medal!

This year:

The season hasn’t got off to the best start but under exceptional circumstances I qualified and competed both horses at the Winter Para Dressage Gold Championships Bear finished in the top 6 and Sky finished 3rd behind a Paralympic Gold Medalist and a European Champion.

Both boys have got some points towards summer qualification so that’s a good start and am now looking forward to summer coming.

Emma Stoner

Emma Stoner 12 years SL3 Player selected for Surrey U14 First Team

Report by Lorraine Brydie Disability - Badminton coach at Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club

Emma joined our weekly disability badminton sessions, at the club, when she was just 8 yrs old. At that time she was a reluctant participant, but, with a little persuasion we soon turned this around and she has made great strides since!

When Emma was just 10 yrs she competed in Surrey’s first senior Para-badminton tournament. Emma, at the time, knew that it was unlikely that she would win any games, but, this did not phase her in any way. I was so impressed by her attitude and the way she was able to focus and try to win every point she could. Last year she was runner up in the ladies doubles event!

In the last 3 years Emma has been attending the monthly Talent Spotting disability badminton Sessions at the club. These are sponsored by The Anders Foundation and were set up to aid promising youngsters, aged 8 – 18 years, gain access to more intense coaching which would eventually steer them along the performance pathway. These sessions were set up to talent spot youngsters who have good hand-eye co-ordination but have a disability, physical or learning.

In addition to these sessions, Emma joined the Raw Performance weekly junior sessions at the club. Playing alongside talented able-bodied players has been key to her most recent success. In the last year Emma has entered local Surrey junior events and has come runner up twice in the u14 girl’s singles tournament. Emma’s disability only requires her to play on a half court but she is competing and winning, against able-bodied players on a full court. This will stand her in good stead though as her classification may change. She is also playing doubles in these events which will give her invaluable experience in the future and will enhance her progress as an all-round event player.

As a result of her success in Surrey, just recently she was invited to join the u14 squad for weekly training, and, soon after, was quickly selected to play for their second team. Her match results have been so astounding that she has now been selected for the first team!

Emma Stoner

We are all very proud of Emma’s work ethic and sheer determination to give her very best each time she steps on the court. Her disability has never held her back. There is no doubt in my mind that she has all the vital components of a true champion and is part of the new wave of players coming through, who will go on to represent England in para badminton!!

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament

Sponsored by The Anders Foundation

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament sponsored by The Anders Foundation took place at the Wimbledon Squash & Racquets Club on the 9th and 10th of September

The results were as follows:

Men’s singles winner, Harry Huang (Beds) beat Rory Easton (Kent)

Ladies singles winner, Freya Patel Redfearn (Middx) beat Alexandra Oprisan (Sy)

Men’s doubles winners, Rory Easton and Harry Huang beat Ethan van Leeuwen (Bucks) and David Hong

Ladies doubles winners, Molly Chapman (Bucks) and Freya Patel Redfearn (Middx) beat Hope Warner and Pamela Reyes (Bucks)

Mixed doubles winners, Will Jones (Sy) and Asmita Chaudhari (Sy) beat Ethan van Leeuwen (Bucks) and Annie Lado (Hants)

Thanks to Val Andrew, Referee, and to Jenny Lacey for organizing the event.

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Georgina Nielsen, Anders’ daughter, who helped present the prizes, with m.s. winner, Harry Huang from Bedfordshire

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Runner up men’s singles, Rory Easton (Kent)

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Winner of ladies singles, Freya Patel Redfearn from Middlesex

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Runner up ladies singles, Alexandra Oprisan (Sy)

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Winners of mens doubles, Rory Easton (Kent) and Harry Huan (Beds) with trophy presenter, David Hutchinson

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Runners up mens doubles, Ethan van Leeuwen (Bucks) and David Hong

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Winners ladies doubles, Molly Chapman (Bucks) and Freya Patel Redfearn (Middx)

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Runners up ladies doubles, Hope Warner and Pamela Reyes (Bucks)

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Winners mixed doubles, Will Jones and Asmita DChaudhari (Surrey)

The Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2017

Runners up mixed doubles, Ethan van Leeuwen (Bucks) and Annie Lado (Hants) with Val Andrew, Tournament Referee

Special Olympics National Games

Both John Hooper and Dee Weiner from Exeter, participating in Badminton events, were successful in the Special Olympics National Games at Sheffield in September 2017.

John won gold in his singles, silver in mens' doubles, and gold in mixed.

Dee won 1 gold and 1 silver medal.

The Anders Foundation congratulates them both.

Special Olympics National Games

Mari Durward-Akhurst

Para Dressage Rider who is hoping to compete in the Tokyo Olympics

Mari Writes:

Friday 15th September 2017: LeMieux National Dressage Championships 2017- Gold Para Dressage Championship

Lost for words..... A dream come true!!

Today me and Sky became the Grade 1 National Champions with 71.49%.

I cannot believe it. I have one very big smile on my face and cannot thank everyone enough who supports me as without you this wouldn't have been possible!

Still not fully recovered and in a lot of pain! But completely worth it as I am now Grade 1 National Champion.

But as we all know I couldn't have done it without Mr Sky. He tried his heart out and looked after me. He felt incredible and did an amazing test, nailing his halts! With two judges giving us over 72%. He is so special and I love him so much. He is my legs and together we excel!

The run up to these champs was not one I would like to repeat. But we have done it and are Grade 1 National Champions. I couldn't be prouder of Sky. For me it’s also fantastic as I have given something back to everyone who has ever supported me and has believed in me.

Hard work really does pay off. It really is a dream come true; still on cloud 9.


Mari Durward-Akhurst
Mari Durward-Akhurst
Mari Durward-Akhurst

Jamie Jessup

Jamie Jessup, a member of the Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club, despite defying medical science and his parents being told after he was born, to take him home to enjoy him as he wouldn't live past the age of 3 months, had a life saving Organ Transplant, and has been a former world Champion Gold medal winner. He has just returned from triumphing at the World Transplant Games 2017 in Malaga, Spain.

The World Transplant Games is an International sporting event for transplant athletes. It demonstrates the physical success of transplant surgery and the ability of transplant recipients to lead healthy, normal lives. The event aims to significantly enhance the understanding and acceptance of organ donation.The Games are held every two years, with the last three games being in Mar Del Plata, Argentina (2015), Durban, South Africa (2013) and Gotenburg, Sweden (2011). The games represent the largest organ donor awareness event in the world. We have the blessing and support of the World Transplant Games Federation and the International Olympic Committee.

After being selected for the World Games (for the 4th time) the day finally came to fly to Spain with Team GB. It was an amazing feeling being part of such a prestigious event and showing the world that after having a major Organ Transplant that we can still live Life to the full and compete on the world stage and promote Organ Donation. We all arrived safely and went on to the opening ceremony and meet the other teams / countries. The World Transplant Games, supported by the International Olympic Committee, represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world, featuring a week of 13 sporting events. Team Great Britain and NI, joined over 800 other transplant athletes from 44 countries across the globe.

Jamie Jessup and Jon Fox

Jamie Jessup and Jon Fox.

Jamie Jessup

Jamie Jessup.

I am thrilled with my achievement this year at the World Games competing against tough opposition, Thailand, Germany, Finland, Iran & our own GB Team. I came away with 3 World medals, winning Silver with my mens' doubles partner, Jon Fox from Dorchester; Bronze for singles; and Bronze for mixed doubles with Elizabeth Hosford from Worthing.

Silver - Men's Doubles
Bronze - Mixed Doubles (PB)
Bronze - Singles

Over all the Games was a Great success with Team GB winning and storming it on the Medal table front with a total of 360 Medals - 122 Golds, 90 Silver & 104 Bronze. Team GB Won at the Awards evening Most Outstanding Best Team Award. Something we as a Team have now won twice!

I would now like to say a personal thank you to all my Sponsors particularly Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club; Sam Phillips for all of his time, efforts & coaching; The Anders Foundation for sponsorship to help me achieve my Dream and get me out to represent Team GB; Jin Yee Lim and his company "Liminaires" for his "Vita Jewel Gem Water Bottle" & finally thank you to everyone at WR&FC for all your help over the years and continued support.

2017 Success Stories


The St. Ives (Bingley) Riding for the Disabled

Bedford and District Handicapped Riding Association

Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club to purchase a ramp allowing wheelchair players easy access to the Badminton Courts.

We continue to support Alex Lane in his quest to become the top Badminton player in England

Support for Dee Weiner and John Hooper to attend the Special Olympics in Sheffield

We again supported Jamie Jessup to attend the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, where he won three medals. Silver in Mens’ Doubles; Bronze in Mens’ Singles and Bronze in Mixed. A report will appear shortly.

We continue to support the Talent Spotting group at WR&FC with special coaching from qualified Badminton England coaches

The Oak Lodge School for the Deaf in Balham, South London.

27th August, 2017 we are sponsoring a Badminton match between England Youth and Past Masters at the National Badminton Centre, Milton Keynes, helping the young players test their skills against their peers. Spectators are welcome, free entry from 10.30am – 4pm.

9-10 September, 2017 again we are the main sponsors of the U19 Wimbledon Open Badminton Tournament. Spectators are welcome, free entry.

Mari Durward-Akhurst

Para Dressage Rider who is hoping to compete in the Tokyo Olympics

Mari Writes:

Hartpury Festival of Dressage - CPEDI3*

Team Test-Day 1

The boys did good today!! Massive thanks to my super support team and super trainer Rob!! 2nd place and 70% with Mr Sky! And 6th place and just under 70% with Bear at his first ever international. And only 3rd time riding team test!! Couldn't be a prouder mum; over the moon!!

Individual Test- Day 2

Sky came 2nd today and 2nd overall!! Behind a triple Paralympic gold medallist!! And my baby at his first ever international came 6th again and was in the top 6 overall!! Could not be prouder! Literally had nothing left to give today but both boys looked after me, not our best tests today. Hope Sky has his dancing shoes on tomorrow :D

Freestyle Test- Day 3

Finished off the competition with another 2nd place; behind a triple Paralympic gold medallist!! So close to 1st only 3.5% away; got 71.82% not bad considering it was Bears music and not ridden it many times before!! Kicking myself as was absolutely spot on and would have finished bang on until I added an extra 8m circle!! Lesson learnt!! Silly girl!! So proud of Sky, he loves dancing to his music.

Had an absolutely amazing time at Hartpury Festival of Dressage representing GB with both boys a true honour! Both boys were amazing and I could not be prouder of them. Bear took everything in his stride and acted like he had done it all before! Sky was a true pro and rose to the occasion!

To finish with three second places with scores over 69% was amazing especially as it was 2nd to a triple Paralympic gold medallist. For me it was also fantastic to have Bear who is all knew to it finish with two 6th places and to be in the top 6 overall!! Over the moon and on cloud 9!

I literally cannot thank everyone enough who supports me. I could not of achieved what I have done over the last week if it wasn't for you all. Many Thanks!

Mari’s next event is a winter qualifier on the 29th August at Widmer EC in Bucks.

Para-Badminton Tournament

The Anders Foundation sponsored the Surrey Open Para Badminton tournament at the Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club (SW19) on Saturday 18th March 2017.

It was a great success with thanks to the following for their organizing skills: Carol Bilton, Lorraine Brydie, Judith Fisher, Gary Sexton and Marion Eyles.

Para-Badminton Tournament 2017

After the finals the WR&FC's new Wet Room was officially opened by Richard Wellington, Vice-President of the Surrey County Badminton Assn. Thanks go to the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Badminton England and Surrey County Badminton Assn for their grants making this Wet Room possible.

Para-Badminton Tournament 2017

Some of the tournament participants watching the opening of the "Wet Room".

Para-Badminton Tournament 2017

Tournament participants above with pictures of organizers and winners below.

Para-Badminton Tournament 2017
Para-Badminton Tournament 2017

Para Dressage Rider - Mari Durward-Akhurst

The Anders Foundation is helping Mari reach her goal of a place in her Grade 1 Dressage event for the Tokyo Olympics, 2020.

Mari Writes:

I am a Grade 1 (new grades for 2017) Para Dressage Rider; I have cerebral palsy that affects all four limbs and has left me weaker down my left side. As a result of my CP my coordination, balance and muscle tone are all affected. I compete in Para Dressage at National and International level.

I am extremely grateful to have received a grant from the Anders Foundation. It will help enormously and allow me to have my trainer at all my competitions. It is important that I have my trainer at competitions as I am unable to work my horses in anything but walk; my trainer is able to warm them up properly for me and make sure that they are ready for me to go and produce the best result that we can in our tests.

Horses are my legs and together we excel. I used to get bullied a lot when I was younger as I was different to other children but then I found riding and my life changed. This was something that I was extremely good at and able to succeed at.

I am told very often that I am an inspiration to others and I enjoy inspiring the next generation of para riders. My motto has always been ‘everything happens for a reason’. A lot has been thrown at me but I have dealt with it and will keep pushing and fighting until I reach my long term goal of getting to the Paralympics and winning a gold medal.

Results from 2016

Grade 3 Restricted Winter Championships before being re classified to a 1a (the most impaired of all the grades) as my condition has deteriorated.

Grade 1a Silver Restricted Champion.

2nd British Dressage Nationals in the KBIS Gold Grade 1a Para Championships class.

Selected to represent GB at Hartpury International my first ever 3* International; I was placed and finished just behind Rio Paralympian's.

Mari Durward-Akhurst


Short term: Compete at the Para Dressage Restricted Winter Championships; qualify for all the major National and International competitions in the Uk.

Long term: To be selected for the World Equestrian Games, Europeans and Paralympics in Tokyo and beyond and to win a gold medal.

Wimbledon U19 Badminton Tournament 2016

17-18 September 2016

At The Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club

Sponsored by The Anders Foundation

Our thanks again to the organizers, Val Andrews and Jenny Lacey.

Events were won by:

Boys' Singles: Johnnie Torjussen (Bucks)

Johnnie Torjussen

Johnnie with Georgina Nielsen, daughter of the late Anders Nielsen.

Girls' Singles: Abigail Holden (Berks)

Abigail Holden

Abigail with former English Intl., Fiona Elliott Smith.

Boys' Doubles: Johnnie Torjussen and Callum Hemming (Bucks)

Temi Johnson

Johnnie & Callum with trophy presenter, Dave Hutchinson.

Girls' Doubles: Fee Teng Liew (Bucks) and Elizabeth Tolman (Merseyside)

Fee Teng Liew and Elizabeth Tolman

Fee Teng Liew and Elizabeth with Karen Beckman, former English Intl.

Mixed Doubles: Callum Hemming and Fee Teng Lieu (Bucks)

Callum Hemming and Fee Teng Lieu

Val Andrew, tournament organizer, with Fee & Callum

Welsh 4 Nations Para Badminton Championship

Shaz Barnes writes after The Anders Foundation helped her purchase a new sports wheelchair:

I attach some photos of the chair being 'christened' at the Welsh 4 Nations Para Badminton Championship in August 2016, winning 2 silver medals.

Shaz Barnes

The following photo shows from left, David Follett, Owen Kilburn and Shaz Barnes at the recent Welsh 4 Nations Para Badminton Championships. The Anders Foundation has helped all three players purchase their sports wheelchairs.

Good Luck to them all for the European Para Badminton Champs in October in Beek, The Netherlands.

4 Nations 2016 Group Photo

Owen Kilburn - Update July 2016

I've just had a couple of Tournaments, the UK 4 Nations Championships and the International Irish Open.

In the 4 Nations Championships I won Gold in the mixed doubles and came 3rd in the mens' doubles but had to pull out of the singles due to illness.

At the Irish International I made it to the last 16 in mixed doubles just losing out to a pair from Japan. In both mens' singles and doubles I was drawn against the top seeds so wasn't able to progress further.

I have just finished University and am currently looking for employment.

Visions inclusive badminton club

Visions inclusive badminton club in Exmouth, Devon is run by former England Badminton player, Sue Louis Williams.

The below is written by Sue:

Our inclusive sessions are going really well; we are always full and have now designed our own awards for our players so that they have goals and targets to work towards.

All our players are from local primary schools which I visit on a regular basis.The schools then nominate 2 players who are physically disabled and 2 players who have social difficulties. We offer them 4 free sessions..After that if they are enjoying the sessions they can join our inclusive club and pay £2 per visit. We have 2 children whom we fund because they are in care and also have 5 players who are now older (15 years) but still enjoy our sessions and cannot attend any other sports clubs outside the school environment because of their disabilities.

We work closely with the local secondary school and I put all the badminton players through the young officials and young helpers awards; once they have done these awards we then use them at our sessions and pay then £5. It is always a struggle for us to make ends meet as we need a high ratio of coaches and helpers for each session.

We have now purchased 4 junior sports wheel chairs. The boys chose green, red and blue frames and the girl a bright pink frame. These players then use the chairs, sometimes away from our club as I would rather they were in use than sitting in our cupboard during the week. We have enough specialist equipment but could always do financially with help towards coaches costs and court hire.

David Follett of Devon Racqueteers Club takes the 4 players in wheel chairs and this is so motivating for the players and their parents to see what can be achieved with hard work. We then have myself and Sharon Hawkins who is the main coach at the Racqueteers in Exeter, along with England players, Alex and Ben Lane, and our young helpers.

Visions inclusive badminton club
Visions inclusive badminton club
Visions inclusive badminton club
Visions inclusive badminton club
Visions inclusive badminton club

Bedford & District Handicapped Riders Assn.

Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association (BDHRA) was formed over 53 years ago and provides horse riding as therapy to disabled children and adults in Bedfordshire. Receiving no state funding they exist entirely from donations and charitable gifting.

Over the course of a year approximately 113 children and adults enjoy the benefits of riding. It strengthens the core enabling children who may be confined to a wheelchair to sit for longer periods, it lengthens muscles which helps prevents spasms and also becomes a social life for people who find access to sport more difficult. Sometimes it takes three volunteers to help a rider – one to lead the horse and two to assist either side.

Last year, the BDHRA received the Queens Award for Voluntary Services – the highest accolade for charitable causes.

Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association (BHDRA)

Inaugural Deaf & SEN Badminton Festival

22 June 2016 at Wimbledon R&FC

Sponsored by The Anders Foundation

Pupils from Blanche Nevile School, North London and Oak Lodge School for the Deaf, Balham, this week, took part in the above event.

It was aimed at youngsters with a hearing impairment and/or with learning difficulties who had not represented their school before in badminton.

The morning started with a fun warm up game. Fundamental skill stations were then set up for the pupils to move round in groups. This was followed by a fun game led by coaches Lorraine Brydie, Carol Bilton and Gary Sexton to finish off the mornings activities. After lunch the youngsters took part in a fun tournament which culminated in two finals. The A Singles final was particularly close where the players were given lots of positive encouragement from the side-lines.

Trophies donated by Keith Henderson were awarded to:

A Singles Winner – Brady Landu (Blanche Nevile) who beat Carolina Neves-Pinto (Blanche Nevile) 15-10. This was played on a full court.

B Singles Winner – Isabella Ealey Newman (Oak Lodge) who beat Hamid Baig (Oak Lodge) 11-4. This was played on a ½ court.

A trophy was also awarded for the “Most Improved Player” of the day. The coaches decided that Jessia McDonagh of Blanche Nevile was the worthy winner of this.

Inaugural Deaf and SEN Badminton Festival

All winners received a gold medal and racquet donated by Peter Smith Of HL Badminton Ltd. The runners up received a Silver medal together with an Anders Foundation T shirt. Jessia received a t shirt also. All participants received a medal for taking part. The trophies shall be engraved and kept at the Club for safe-keeping.

A special thanks must go to The Anders Foundation Charitable Trust who generously sponsored the event together with Peter Smith of HL Badminton who donated two racquets and covers for the winners.

Alex Lane

Our congratulations to Alex Lane on a great season reaching his first National Mens’ singles final and being selected to represent England in the Thomas Cup in China.

The Anders Foundation has supported Alex Lane for two tournaments in 2016 and will continue supporting him during the 2016-2017 season.

My Badminton year 2016 with the support of the Anders Foundation

At the start of this Badminton year I decided to leave full time training at the National Badminton centre in Milton Keynes, after training for 2 years, and attend Bath University. As a junior I won the European under 17 Singles Gold medal and our National Under 11, 13, 15, and17 titles. I competed for England at the Youth Olympic Games in Australia and the World Junior Championships in Japan.

When I left the National Badminton Centre all my funding was cut as I was no longer playing full time; however I still wanted to compete and train full time while studying for my degree with the plan of returning to full time play after university. The Anders Foundation has supported me this year and without their help I wouldn’t have been able to carry on playing the European circuit.

This year has been my best year since leaving the junior circuit. At the start of the year I won my first senior International winning the Mens’ singles title at the Slovak Open. I then competed in the Welsh and Dutch Opens where I reached the quarter finals. I also played in the Scottish, Orleans, Polish and Hungary Internationals.

Alex Lane
Alex Lane

At the English National Championships this year I reached my first singles final beating Toby Penty, ranked No. 2 in England and 103 in the world, in the semi-finals. I was then picked to represent England at the World Team Championships, the Thomas Cup, in China in May. Here I was awarded my first Senior Cap and only lost in three close sets to Soon Huat Goh from Malaysia who is ranked number 53 in the world. In my second match I beat David Peng of Germany.

I have now finished my first year at university so will be training back at the National Badminton Centre throughout the summer with my next tournament in August.

Cares4Kids Update

The Anders Foundation, together with Cares4Kids support the Talent Spotting sessions for young people from 8 – 18 years with disabilities.

We are always looking for more participants and please contact The Anders Foundation if you wish to join us at the Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club, SW19.

Below are a stories written by some of those taking part:

Temi Johnson writes

I like learning new skills in Badminton, playing with my friends and meeting new people

Temi Johnson

Temi Johnson

Emma Stoner writes

The extra sessions have really improved my Badminton this year. My technique is much better and I am definitely fitter. I have played in my first tournaments; I was runner up in the Surrey U11B Girls and played in all 3 categories in the Surrey Parabadminton tournament. I have met some of the England Parabadminton players and I would love to play for England one day.

Emma Stoner

Emma with Danny Lee, one of England’s senior ParaBadminton players.

Thomas Vogt writes

Lorraine’s sessions has dramatically improved my individual performance in Badminton and has given me the necessary tools to improve on as well. The sessions are also a great social time too I feel that everyone is always welcoming and supportive of each other, I have also noticed huge improvement across the board from all of participants. Overall I am very grateful for this opportunity to practice and improve my Badminton, and in particular being able to teach me to maintain my cool whilst playing Badminton and how to co-operate well with a huge variety of individuals.

Thomas Vogt

Thomas Vogt

Oscar Warr writes

I have really improved with these sessions. My fitness has gone up and I feel more agile and have more movement on the court. I feel better for it. My drop shot has improved and I am better able to get the shuttlecock to the back of the court when I'm standing sideways. I really appreciate the one to one coaching and feel very lucky.

Oscar Warr

Oscar Warr

Any Currency

Any Currency delivers the first winner for the Martin Keighley stable at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival proudly wearing the Anders Foundation sponsorship logo.

Any Currency at the Cheltenham Festival 2016.

Owen Kilburn

Owen also competed in the 4 Nations in Scotland where he won a Gold in his mixed doubles and 3rd in singles. He says his next aim is to achieve a medal in the European Championships in November 2016. Well done to him too.

David Follett

David Follett for whom the Anders Foundation recently helped buy a new sports wheelchair has just let us know he returned from the 4 Nations in Scotland with 3 silver medals. He feels his new chair has helped improve his game.

Well done David – onwards and upwards to the Paralympics in Tokyo, 2020

Talent Spotting Sessions

Talent spotting sessions for disabled youngsters aged 8-18 years.

The Talent Spotting sessions at Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club sponsored by The Anders Foundation and Cares4Kids continue on a regular basis.

We are trying to increase numbers but once the football season is over, hopefully more will return. Our thanks to Carol Bilton and Lorraine Brydie for leading the sessions as well as to all the other coaches and helpers.

Talent Spotting

Well Done Emma Stoner

Emma is a disability badminton player with great potential. She is only 10 years old and entered her first able-bodied competition, the Surrey Under11B girls tournament and was awarded the Silver medal.

Emma has a SL3 classification which only requires her to play half court singles in a para-badminton event. She won her medal taking on an able-bodied player in the final on full court after winning 4/5 games in the pool stages!

Emma works very hard at her fitness and technique and is a regular member of the weekly disability badminton and Talent Spotting sessions at the club.

David Follet

David Follet is a member of the Devon Racqueteers wheelchair badminton club.

The Anders Foundation has just helped David buy a new wheelchair and hope it will help him reach his goal - to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Good Luck David!

From David:

I had a road traffic accident in 2007 which left me paralysed from C6/C7 and in a wheelchair. A year later I took up wheelchair badminton, I have now been to 3 world championships representing England, with the most recent in Stoke Mandeville in 2015 where I reached the last 16.

I am now starting 2016 with a brand new sports chair with massive thanks to the Anders foundation for their contribution, this will hopefully push me to the next level. My aim is to be in the top 10 players in the world and to go to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo"

David Follet

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2015

Sponsored by The Anders Foundation

The Wimbledon Under 19 tournament 12-13 September held at the Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club, had participants from Denmark, Scotland and England.

Our thanks again to the organizers, Val Andrews and Jenny Lacey; and to Neil Andrews for taking the photos.

Events were won by:

Men's Singles: Jesper Toft (Denmark) – r-up Alex Dunn (Scotland)
Ladies Singles: Abigail Holden (Berks) – r-up Samodani Wijetunge (Surrey)
Men's Doubles: Max Flynn (Hants) & David King (Sx) – r-up Matthew Clare (Yorks) & Alex Dunn (Scotland)
Ladies Doubles: Libby McMorrow (Hants) & Kirby Ngan (Avon) - r-up Elizabeth Tolman (Lancs) & Fee Teng Liew (Bucks)
Mixed Doubles: Matthew Clare (Yorks) & Nicola Gresty (Glos) – r-up Max Flynn (Hants) & Fee Teng Liew (Bucks)

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2015

Abigail Holden winner ladies singles with r-up, Samodani Wijetunge

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2015

Dave Hutchinson presenting the mens doubles prizes to David King and Max Flynn / r-up Matthew Clare and Alex Dunn

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2015

Georgina Nielsen (daughter of Anders Nielsen) presenting the mens singles prizes to Alex Dunn, r-up / and Jesper Toft, winner

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2015

Karen Beckman presenting the ladies doubles prizes to Kirby Ngan and Libby McMorrow / r-up Elizabeth Tolman and Fee Teng Liew

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2015

Val Andrews presenting the mixed doubles prizes to Matthew Clare and Nicola Gresty / r-up Max Flynn and Fee Teng Liew

Jamie Jessup - Update

World Transplant Games August 2015 Mar Del Plata, Argentina

I'm glad to say I managed to bring home 2 world medals for Team GB this year, a Silver in the singles and a gold in the Men's Doubles!

I am so thrilled with the results that I got, words cannot describe how I feel at the moment. I would now like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to you and the Anders Foundation for your kind generosity with regards to your sponsorship, words cannot express how grateful I am with the help you have given me to allow me to fulfil my dream and ambition to represent my Country and play a sport that has kept me fit and healthy after my Kidney Transplant and help spread the word about organ donation, and show how after having a transplant you can generally lead a healthy life and show how you can still participate in sporting events. The World Games this year were held in Argentina in Mar Del Plata and over 40 different countries were competing giving it a total of over 2,000 athletes who have all had life saving organ transplants, so it was a great way of spreading the word in Argentina about Organ donation. I have attached some pictures of the singles and the doubles medal ceremony. Thank you once again for your support, I can't thank you enough.

Best wishes,

Jamie Jessup at the World Transplant Games 2015
Jamie Jessup at the World Transplant Games 2015
Jamie Jessup at the World Transplant Games 2015

Owen Kilburn - Update

4 Nations Para-Badminton Championships – English leg, Sheffield, June 13th – June 14th

A quick update on how I got on over the weekend at the Welsh leg of the 4 Nations.

I finished 3rd in the WH1 singles and runner-up in the wheelchair mens doubles losing 19-21 -16-21.

Unfortunately didn't get to contest the wheelchair mixed doubles as my partner had to withdraw due to injury and wasn't worth risking further damage with the World Championships just 2 weeks away.

On the weekend of June 13th – 14th Owen competed in the English leg of the 4 Nations Para-Badminton series.

Owen reached the semi-finals of the Wheelchair 1 mens singles losing out to top seed and world number 5 Connor Dua-Harper (Devon) 21-9 21-12.

Playing with Denny Vettom (Aylesbury) in the mens doubles, Owen reached the final. Struggling to find any form or rhythm in the match, Owen again lost out to Dua-Harper and his Devon Racqueteers team mate David Follett 21 – 9 21 – 10.

In the mixed doubles Owen paired up with Scotlands Fiona Christie. After being in top form In the group stage, defeating Dua-Harper and his partner Sharon Jones-Barnes in the group stage 21 – 15 21 – 12, the two pairs met again the final. The final was a much closer affair with the victors this time being Dua-Harper and Jones-Barnes with a 24-22 21-18 scoreline.

Next up for Owen is the Irish Para-Badminton International Open in Dublin from June 24th -28th where he will try to gain as much world ranking points as possible to get a good ranking for the World Championships later on in the year to be hosted by Badminton England at Stoke Mandeville stadium.

Carlton Irish Para-Badminton Open

On the 26th – 28th June Badminton Ireland hosted the first Carlton Irish Para-Badminton Open and the competition attracted many of the world’s leading Para-Badminton players.

Nottinghamshires Team England Para-Badminton player Owen Kilburn came away from the championships with a Bronze medal in the wheelchair mens doubles pairing up with Jordy Brouwer Von Gonzonbach from the Netherlands losing out to the eventual winners and top seeds Ho Yuen Chan (Hong Kong) / David Toupe (France) in the semi final.

In the wheelchair mixed doubles Owen and his partner Fiona Christie of Scotland reached the quarter finals and were beaten by the first seeded pairing of Ho Yuen Chan / Karin Suter (Switzerland).

In the wheelchair class 1 mens singles Owen put in his best singles performances in International competition so far by reaching the quarter finals and just losing out to 3rd seed Avni Kertmen from Turkey in a very close 55 minute match with the scores of 25-23 22-24 19-21.

Full results can be found here as well as videos from the championships here.

Team England came away with a total of 10 medals and the championships were great preparation for the upcoming Para-Badminton world championships to be hosted by Badminton England in September at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the home and birthplace of the Paralympics. Click for more details of the upcoming Para-Badminton World Championships.

Owen Kilburn

Harry Keighley

The Anders Foundation is helping Harry with his riding activities this summer.

His Mum writes:

Thank you very much for the generous donation you have kindly sent for Harry's riding activities during the summer. He absolutely loves riding and I attach some photos of him on his pony Dinky, and with his older brother Freddie, during the last week when he was on half term. He copes so well even though he can't really hold the reins very well with his small hand - luckily he's brave! He wants to be a jockey!

Harry Keighley
Harry Keighley
Harry Keighley

Devon Racqueteers Parabadminton Club

The Anders Foundation is supporting the Club with equipment for the 2015 season.

Devon Racqueteers Parabadminton Club
Devon Racqueteers Parabadminton Club
Devon Racqueteers Parabadminton Club

Nikki Welch

Nikki Welch of Liskeard Junior and Inclusive Badminton Club has returned home victorious from the 4 Nations Para-Badminton Tournament held in Scotland. Nikki from Pensilva who has ADHD and a learning disability won a Gold Medal in the ladies doubles and a Silver Medal in the singles event. She also achieved 3rd place in the mixed doubles event. Nikki was supported by The Anders Foundation who provided her with £250 towards her expenses.

Nikki's aim now is to compete in the World Championships which have just been announced by Badminton England to be held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in September, the birthplace of the Paralympic movement situated in Buckinghamshire.

Liskeard Junior and Inclusive Badminton Club who are East Cornwall's only Premier Club are delighted for Nikki and aim do all they can to support her ambition to play at the World Championships. Her long term aim will be the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 where Badminton will feature for the first time.

Nikki Welch
Nikki Welch

Owen Kilburn

The Anders Foundation recently helped Owen Kilburn purchase a new sports wheelchair.

Owen is a 24 year old Nottingham Trent University Student and has played wheelchair Badminton for 9 years and is now a player who represents England in Para-Badminton.

Spanish ParaBadminton International, Alcudia, Spain - March 2015
Match Day 1

I was placed into group D of the WH1 mens singles and I started the tournament off strong with a convincing 21 – 13, 21 – 7 win over Pascal Barrillon of France and I felt sharp and confident.

The next match saw me up against the number 4 seed from Russia, Pavel Popov. I knew this would be a tough game for me but managed to stay in the game and never went behind up to 16 all where it was at this point I disappointingly conceded 5 straight points to lose the game 16 – 21. I went ahead 11 – 9 at the interval of the second game to then only get another 3 points for the remainder and lose 14 – 21.

Despite losing I was able to advance past the group stage as runner-up of group D and into the last 16 where I faced India’s Prem Kule Ale. The first game was another close encounter up to the interval where again my opponent slipped away in the latter stages and they won 21 – 13. The second game was one of the most disappointing ones I had played all weekend. I turned up the intensity and found the form and sharpness I had from my very first match and had a commanding 18 – 12 lead and looked like I was sure to take the match to a 3rd game. Unfortunately my performance took a sudden drop and before I knew it I had lost the game 19 – 21. I was eliminated from the mens singles and I was gutted for letting a good opportunity slip away.

Match Day 2

The 2nd day was the start of the men’s doubles and was in group C seeded 3rd being teamed up with Ho Yuen Chan from Hong Kong.

With the disappointment of the evening before still fresh in my mind the first doubles match was an extremely shakey performance, especially coming up against Prem Kumar Ale again with his Indian team mate Suresh Kumar Karki. I managed to get revenge on Prem for my Singles as we won 21-16, 21-19.

Pascal Barrillon was then my opponent again teaming up with his French compatriot Sebastien Martin. My performance still wasn’t great but we took the first game 21-16. The second set I finally managed to regain my focus and relax and we won the second game with a comfortable score of 21-10.

The final game of group C we came up against the Russian Pair of Pavel Popov and Yuri Stepanov. Here I had another opportunity to get revenge on a player I had lost to the day before. We were ahead 16-11 in the first game. However, I had a repeat of my match with Prem Kumar Ale, letting a good lead slip again and losing 18-21. A wave of thoughts were running through my head. The second game was very close for the majority and the Russians continued to isolate me keeping the shuttle away from my partner. Then something just ‘clicked’. I suddenly relaxed again and we took the second game 21-16 and then cruised to a 21-10 win in the final game.

With all games won we topped group C and advanced to the quarter finals.

The last match of the day we played another French pair; Stephen Durand and Francois Nalborczyk. This saw my best performance throughout the whole day and we cruised to a 21-10, 21-11 victory booking a place in the semi-final the next day.

Match Day 3

In the men’s doubles semi-final I played fellow England team mates and 2nd seeds Martin Rooke and Connor Dua-Harper who were heavy favourites. This match proved to be another level up and although I felt I played well, they were just too good and defeated us easily 2-21, 10-21.

Overall despite there being a few disappointing performances I’m very happy to come away with my second medal in a BWF sanctioned International competition. I will learn and build from these experiences and aim to achieve more good results at the Irish International in June.

Owen writes: "I have just competed in the 4 Nations Para-Badminton Championships in Scotland where, despite not being 100% fit, I managed to reach the semi final in the wheelchair mens singles losing to the eventual winner and England team mate Connor Dua-Harper 5 - 21, 15 - 21.

In the mens doubles my partner withdrew from the tournament a couple days before due to illness, so unfortunately I didn't get to play mens doubles and we were certainly one of the favourites.

In the mixed doubles I teamed up with Fiona Christie of Scotland for the first time. We reached the final and though I was disappointed with my own personal performance, feeling exhausted and still unwell from illness, we grinded out a win to take Gold in the mixed doubles winning in 3 games 18-21, 21 - 14, 21-19 against fellow English pair Denny Vettom and Sharon Jones-Barnes.

The new chair has definitely helped my game a lot. It was just so unfortunate that I was ill and my fitness over the weekend was terrible because of it so I wasn't playing and using it to full capacity and intensity."

Congratulations to Owen from The Anders Foundation.

Owen Kilburn
Owen Kilburn
Owen Kilburn

Owen writes: “In 2015 my first tournament will be the Scottish 4 Nations championships in Glasgow in February; followed by the Spanish International at the end of March. Other possible tournaments are the China International in May and the Irish International in June. And towards the end of this year the World Championships which are expected to be in England. I hope to build on what I have achieved last year and win more medals in International competition and my biggest goal is to play in the 2020 Paralympics."

He will be taking part in the England Para-Badminton squad training camp at Hatfield, Herts next week and in an exhibition at the Nottingham v Loughborough NBL match on the 26th of January.”

Talent Spotting

The Anders Foundation has realized that with the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 being only 5 years away, more disabled Badminton players need to be encouraged to participate.

We have thus set up a “Talent Spotting” scheme over the next 12 months to be run at the Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club, SW19, for children between the ages of 8 and 18. This will be run by Lorraine Brydie and Carol Bilton, both Badminton England coaches, together with other BE coaches, some former Internationals.

Participants have been invited from all Surrey and South London Schools and Youth Clubs, the first session being 15th February. Young people within those age groups, with good hand-eye co-ordination, are welcome to contact the organizers (see top of first page – should they not have heard of the event through their school or other body. These sessions are free of charge and all equipment, including wheelchairs, is provided; only Badminton England qualified coaches will be available.

The event is underway and any young person between the ages of 8 and 18 is most welcome; please contact if you wish to participate.

The Anders Foundation thanks Cares 4 Kids for their great support of this initiative.

Cares 4 Kids
Cares 4 Kids
Cares 4 Kids

Para-Badminton Training Camps

The Anders Foundation will be sponsoring two Para-Badminton training camps this year; the first at Hatfield, Herts, on 25th January; second date to be confirmed. Coaches will be Gail Emms, Nick Ponting, Nathan Robertson and other Badminton England qualified coaches.

Para-Badminton Tournament

The Anders Foundation is sponsoring the first Wimbledon Racquets & Fitness Club (SW19), Para-Badminton Tournament on Saturday 14th March for Standing categories by providing £500 prize money.

For details, please contact:

Wimbledon Logo

Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2014

Sponsored by The Anders Foundation

The Wimbledon Under 19 tournament 13-14 September held at the Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club, had participants from India, Portugal, Switzerland, Scotland and England.

The mens’ singles was won by Lakshya Sen, aged just 14 years; a possible future World Champion and member of the Prakash Academy in Bangalore, run by former All England Champion Prakash Padukone, and Vimal Kumar, former Indian No. 1, and former member of WR&FC, known to many during his playing years in Surrey

Events were won by:

  • Men's Singles: Lakshya Sen (India)
  • Ladies Singles: Ira Banerjee (Hants)
  • Men's Doubles: Ben Lane (Devon) & Sean Vendy (Bucks)
  • Ladies Doubles: Jessica Hopton (Avon) & Lydia Powell (Sussex)
  • Mixed Doubles: Ben Lane (Devon) & Jessica Pugh (Yorkshire)
Wimbledon U19 Tournament 2014

Mens’ Singles trophy presented to Lakshya Sen of India by Jack Nielsen, Anders’ 11 year old son.

England Para Badminton Team

European Championships

After helping to coach the England para badminton team The Anders Foundation is delighted to hear about the great success the team achieved at the recent European Championships. You can read more about it on the badminton England website by following this link:

Sam Krzystyniak


The Anders Foundation sponsored a day out for Sam Krzystyniak and his friends at Thorpe Park.


Sam was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the Lymph glands, in January this year two days before his 15th birthday. He received four months of intensive chemotherapy treatment at the University of London Hospital near Euston which finished at the end of May. Sam’s scans in June showed he was in remission from the illness and he will now be closely monitored in the months and years to come.

A Note of Thanks from Sam

I would just like to say thank you so much to The Anders Nielsen Foundation for paying for me and 3 friends to go to Thorpe Park for the day on Monday. We had an amazing time and went on all the rides without having to queue at all. My favourite ride is Samurai which made me feel really dizzy and sick but I love it anyway!

I love Thorpe park and really appreciate being able to go. It was especially nice to go with my friends from school who have all supported me over the past year and they had a fantastic time also. It was the perfect ending to our school holidays.

Many thanks again.
Sam Krzystyniak

Sam Krzystyniak and friends at Thorpe Park.

The picture shows Sam on the right with his school friends.


Sam's blog during his illness can be found at

The Bedford & District Handicapped Riders Assn


2014 - The Anders Foundatation donated £1000 to the Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association.


The Charity was formed over fifty years ago to use ponies as therapy to improve the co-ordination and health of handicapped children and adults. They maintain their own ponies and have their own purpose built indoor riding school in the village of Willington, Beds. Most of their riders come from specialist schools in Bedfordshire but also take adults from the Sue Ryder home and other people are referred to us by their GP's. Last year we had over 100 riders.


Every year we need to raise approximately £20,000 just to keep things ticking over and we do this by organising fetes, craft fayres, coffee mornings and musical evenings but in these times of austerity it gets harder and harder to raise this amount. We also apply for funding from charitable institutions and family trusts.


Our expenses are continually rising. For example in 2011 our horse expenses were £7734 but rose 15% in 2012 and will be higher again this year. We also need additional capital investment to maintain and improve our facilities. We do not have any administrative costs as all our helpers are volunteers apart from the lady who feeds and cares for the ponies.

Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association.
Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association.