Community Champions

Connect Group manager to wield his racquet for his country

Written by Peter Davison .

Mark Titchener and Haydn DibbleA Swindon IT manager has been selected to represent England at the World Masters Badminton Championships in India this year – with the backing of his employer.

Mark Titchener, 46, who is the head of IT service delivery for the Connect Group, has aspired to represent his country at a major championship event since he began playing badminton aged just 11.

And now, more than 30 years later, he has the opportunity to represent England as he’ll be heading to India this September.

Over the last eight months Mark and his doubles partner Haydn Dibble have competed in eight qualifying tournaments, in the men’s doubles over-45 category.

Having playing consistently well they accumulated enough ranking points to see them through for selection.

Mark, who is sponsored by Connect Group, plays for the Stratton Polska club in Swindon as well as for Wiltshire in the same age category: “We’re so happy to have made it through,” said Mark of his success.

“Our eight month journey has had its highs and lows - there were even a couple of times where we didn’t think we’d make the team.

“But our strong performance at the All England Championships in April means we qualified ahead of our competitors, securing our place in Kochi.” The World Masters Badminton Championships are being held in Kochi, India from September 10 to 17.