Position: Physical Education Teacher
School: Richard A. Shields Elementary School
School District: Cape Henlopen School District
City, State: Lewes, DE
Music that Describes Tim
Tim Bamforth was nominated anonymously.
Mr. Bamforth has been the physical education teacher at Shields Elementary for his whole teaching career of 27 years. His impact, contributions, and light go far beyond the classroom and spill out into the community a thousand times over.
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Bamforth serves as a race director for the Seashore Striders running club. The Seashore Striders is community-focused and hosts spring, summer, and fall events for the public. Mr. Bamforth is also a cross country coach, and he coaches high school track at Cape Henlopen High School, as well as middle school track. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was instrumental in making sure running did not stop for his students, the athletes he coaches, and the Seashore Striders running community. He found creative ways to keep kids engaged, as well as adults who participate in the races hosted by the Seashore Striders. In a time when people were trying to navigate everyday life, he tried and succeeded in keeping the running community together.
Mr. Bamforth is always giving his time to help others, honor others, and give back to so many around him. You can find him most weekends up before dawn, preparing the course for a race. No one really knows the amount of work that happens behind the scenes unless you've been a race director or have seen with your own eyes the work and hours Coach Bamforth puts in to bring the community together for a great race and for great causes that give back to the community. He creates opportunities for both kids and adults, and he creates the space for them to shine. His dedication to his students, the athletes he coaches, and the running community over the years has been impactful, influential, and life-changing.
When Maggie Browne, a sophomore at Cape Henlopen High School, passed away this year, Mr. Bamforth immediately organized a special race in her honor. Maggie was hailed as the "queen of jumps" by Coach Bamforth because of her recent wins in long- and high-jump events. He organized the inaugural Maggie Mile Run/Walk to raise money to start a Maggie Browne Track & Field Scholarship. Coach Bamforth is also a sports writer for the Cape Gazette, where you will find many articles written by him. He wrote a piece in memory of Maggie called, "Heaven has a Jumper in Maggie Browne," and wrote "Coaches and athletes make memories that can never be taken away. I will always remember jumping, smiling, talented, hardworking, “I can do it” attitude Maggie Browne."
This is exactly what Coach Bamforth does. He gives others the space to make memories and accomplish goals with running, and he showers his athletes with medals and awards, even if they aren't the fastest on the course.
When sports writer/photographer for the Cape Gazette and retired teacher Dave Frederick lost his beloved “Darby Dog,” Mr. Bamfroth immediately stepped in and created the inaugural Darby Dash 5K race that would help raise money in Darby’s honor.
"I mention these races as a small glimpse into the caring individual Coach Bamforth is. He never looks for any recognition or praise. There are not enough words to express the impact he has made (and continues to make) in the racing community, his school, and the community-at-large. I am not a fast runner, but he created an atmosphere where everyone roots for each other until the last runner crosses the finish line. Even though I am not fast, I feel fast out there, like nothing can stop me. It feels like family when you show up for one of the races he has organized for the community. This feeling only happens at races because he has created this space and expectation that anyone can achieve anything with hard work and being surrounded by 'family.' This is the feeling you get when you come to a race with the Seashore Striders; it just feels like 'family,'" said his nominator. "Mr. Bamforth exemplifies all of the qualities of a LifeChanger of the Year. He is truly a gift to Delaware, and it’s important we take the time out to honor those who make an impact, day in and day out."