STRATFORD Boat Club members took time out on Sunday morning to welcome the Badcock family back to the club and name the new launch after former president Felix Badcock.
In 1972, life and work brought Felix, his wife Jane and their three children to Welford where they went on to farm for more than years. In 1977, he became local Scout leader and then group Scout leader before finally becoming a long-serving Stratford District Commissioner.
Felix had a long and successful career with Thames Rowing Club in Putney, London, rowing in the Thames Eight in the ‘Grand’ at Henley Royal Regatta for seven years and sometimes doubling up in the Stewards’ Cup.
In 1958, his crew won a bronze for England at the Commonwealth Games in Wales. He remained active in the world of rowing, becoming an international selector in the 1960s, Captain of Thames and later vice-president.
Felix’s involvement with Stratford Boat Club started in 1980, first coaching his daughter and her school friends and from there countless more junior and adult members.
Felix’s women’s coxed four of 2008/09 won at both Henley and the National Championships. He is fondly remembered by the club and his crew as dedicated, passionate and deeply committed to every aspect of the training.
His love for the sport was infectious and the time spent with this crew led to some very great rowing and life-long friendships with both Felix and his beloved wife Jane.
In 2010, Felix was awarded the British Rowing Volunteer of the Year Award, immediately nominating another Stratford volunteer for the same award the following year – a gesture typical of his selflessness – and in the London 2012 Olympics he was a Games Maker at the rowing centre at Dorney Lake.
Felix is still remembered by Stratford Boat Club as a gentle ‘Father’ of the club. He was much-loved and respected and his tact and diplomacy meant he was always able to see both sides of any discussion. His wisdom, knowledge and experience were called upon on numerous occasions!
Club president Paul Stanton said: “What an honour to have so many of the Badcock family with us on what was a very special day naming our new launch after Felix. It was an unanimous decision to continue Felix’s presence with us both off and especially on the water.”
The naming ceremony was carried out by Felix’s three rowing granddaughters – Phoebe Bridges (University of Sussex and Thames Tideway), Helen Craven (Lancaster University) and Frances Badcock (King’s College, University of Cambridge) – and the new launch was christened with a bottle of Fuller’s London Pride, reputed to be Felix’s tipple of choice during his rowing days.
Dr Graham Collier, J17/18 coach and former club captain, added: “The club is most grateful to all who have contributed to the cost of the new launch, which is essential for the safety and training of all our athletes and will replace equipment in our ageing launch fleet.
“We are especially grateful to Warwickshire County Council who gave the club a grant towards the purchase and we were please to see Councillor Jenny Fradgley with us at the ceremony so we could thank Warwickshire County Council face to face. Its involvement in assisting with sport and recreation in the county is much appreciated.”