Age proves no barrier for 80-year-old Bernard

Long-serving Stamford Squash Club coach Bernard Miles, 80, is pictured receiving a shirt from Emma Barnard, 14, and other club members''Photo: SM070212-010ow
Long-serving Stamford Squash Club coach Bernard Miles, 80, is pictured receiving a shirt from Emma Barnard, 14, and other club members''Photo: SM070212-010ow
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A stunning milestone was marked with a special presentation at Stamford Squash Club.

Many years ago coach Bernard Miles set himself the target of coaching at 80 – and after 40 years of passing on his experience and expertise he has reached that goal.

Club player Ferlin Barnard said: “His weekly sessions contain a mixture of technique and drills that prove highly effective to novice and experienced players.

“He has that remarkable quality that good coaches have – patience.

“His enthusiasm for the sport is boundless and is infectious.”

Bernard starting playing squash while he was serving in the RAF in 1955 and set up the Perkins Squash Club in Peterborough by persuading the company to build courts.

He has coached a range of levels from juniors through to more seasoned players including former world number four, Tania Bailey and Mathew Oxley, who went on to play for the National U19s team.

He said: “In my opinion it was certainly slower then. You’ve got to be super fit to play these days.”

“It’s a fine sport, a really fine sport, and one of the beauties is that you can play in any weather.”