SPORT BC has announced that the recipient of the prestigious Daryl Thompson Award is Abdul Shaikh of Badminton BC.
The Daryl Thompson Award is named in honour of the late Daryl Thompson, former chair of Sport BC. Daryl’s contribution to sport as an athlete, coach and executive officer were exemplary. This prestigious award recognizes an individual who has contributed their time in an extraordinary way to sport over a long period of time or has made a major contribution to amateur sport in British Columbia.
The 52nd Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner recognized BC’s best in amateur sport including athletes, coaches, and officials for outstanding performances in their sport over the 2017 season. Each finalist was nominated by their provincial or multi-sport organization, high school, college or university. The selection committee, chaired by Bernie Pascall, included 16 highly regarded sportswriters, broadcasters, and amateur sport leaders in British Columbia.
Abdul Shaikh is a distinguished sport leader who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of badminton. When Abdul landed in Toronto he had $80 dollars in his pocket, two suitcases, two children, and his number one supporter by his side, his wife.
The year was 1967 and Shaikh, and his wife Val, arrived in Canada as India’s premier badminton players. Nearly 50+ years later, Abdul has become one of BC’s most celebrated leaders in the sport. The Canada Games Council inducted him into its Hall of Honour on February 12, 2015, in Prince George, recognizing his dedication to sport, as well as his excellence and leadership.
Abdul has been a racquet’s professional at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club for 30 years. He’s worked with hundreds of athletes of all levels of the sport, worked tirelessly to shape talent, strengthen the badminton community, and increase participation at a provincial and national level. Abdul’s efforts were recognized with the naming of their badminton hall after Abdul when he retired in 1999.
Since 1971, Abdul himself represented BC at the Canada Winter Games as a badminton athlete and the went on to coach many editions of Team BC over the years. His coaching career culminated with a number of National Team assignments including coach of the Olympic Team in the 1996 Games in Atlanta.
Between his appearances as a coach, Abdul worked tirelessly to grow talent at home and build a solid foundation of athletes on the performance pathway to becoming Canada’s next generation of national team athletes; and many did, including Claire Sharpe (Backhouse), a BC Hall of Fame Inductee. Abdul coached Canada Games alums Anil Kaul (now President of Badminton Canada) and Darryl Yung before leading them to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics as the Olympic Coach.