Badminton ace still going strong at 90

Robin Whitlock
Robin Whitlock

A 90-YEAR-OLD badminton player insists keeping active in all forms of life is what has kept him in fine form with the racket.

Robin Whitlock celebrated his landmark birthday earlier this month at Littlehampton Badminton and Squash Club and, despite being 15 years older than the club itself, he still gives the young guns a run for their money.

Whitlock has been wielding his racket at the club, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, for 40 years and is the club’s oldest member, playing every Thursday night.

The senior badminton ace, who lives in Binsted, after serving in World War II, started his Whitlocks business – a prominent name in Bognor for more than five decades – and was encouraged into the sport through a employee and has never looked back.

He said: “I think positive and that keeps me going. It’s good to be active, rather than a coach potato. It’d be easy to say I’m not going to walk the dog as it’s a rainy and wet day, but it’s a good feeling when you have.

“How I got started was I had my own business and my secretary was round one night doing the books and she said that she was off to badminton and she said to me it was about time I got into something. So, I had a game and have played ever since.”

The father of three sons and grandfather of four lives with his wife, Helen, and still rides and looks after his two horses, as well as walking his dog, which he believes has helped keep him going.

He added: “I live healthily, used to ride a lot and also walk the dog daily.

“I have two artificial knees from a riding accident, which isn’t too helpful getting up and down the court, but I hope to carry on playing as long as possible, but it makes it a bit of a trip down the Thames sometimes.”

On March 4, the club had a special surprise evening for their stalwart member to celebrate his birthday and he was presented with a lifetime membership to mark the occasion by chairman David Beatty, who described Whitlock as an inspiration and said the club were delighted and proud to have him as a member.

Whitlock said: “I thought it was quite warming as someone my age doesn’t expect that type of thing, when you’re old most people don’t bother.

“But they are a really nice bunch and I was quite overwhelmed and impressed, it was lovely.”