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24 Nov 2022 122

Two ‘outstanding’ careers to be celebrated as Lifetime Achievement Award winners announced

UK Athletics’ longest-serving employed coach, Aston Moore and Scottish Disability Sport Coach, Jim Hunter have today been announced as recipients of the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises the careers of coaches who go above and beyond to positively impact those taking part in physical activity and sport. They are coaches who support their participants both physically and mentally from the grassroots level to the grandest stages of them all, and today we are delighted to announce that both Aston Moore and Jim Hunter will both be presented with the award on 6th December at the upcoming UK Coaching Awards.

Aston Moore

Producing an endless conveyor-belt of great athletes since being appointed UK Athletics National Event Coach for Horizontal Jumps 20 years ago, and a long-time member of Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club, Aston has supported and nurtured multiple World Champions and Olympic and Paralympic medallists to become the most successful Black athletics coach in the country.

A former Great Britain Olympic triple jumper, Aston was a two-time Commonwealth Games bronze medallist before embarking on a career in coaching. The announcement comes ahead of the 25th annual UK Coaching Awards, a momentous event where coaches nationwide are recognised for their incredible contribution in transforming the lives and communities across their sport.

UK Athletics’ longest-serving employed coach, Aston helped Phillips Idowu MBE achieve global recognition by becoming an Olympic triple jump silver medallist and World Champion. He has also more recently seen Paralympic success with champion long jumpers and sprinters Stef Reid MBE and Olivia Breen.

Stef spoke about the influence Aston had on her as a person and an athlete:

I had the best time with Aston; we had an adventure. I look back on my career and my time together with him, and it’s just filled with so much joy. I am so pleased with my career, and I really like who I am and who I have become in the process, and Aston is a huge reason to that."

His influence on athletes extends beyond the competition field – Aston was asked by two-time World, European and Commonwealth triple jump champion Ashia Hansen MBE if he would give her away on her wedding day. “Aston is like a father to me,” says Ashia. “I knew Aston was the right person for me, he knew what motivated me, he knew how to get the best out of me.”

Jim Hunter

Following a remarkable 40 years of dedicated volunteering, and a coaching career that has seen him work from the grassroots to international competitions, Jim has been a key figure within Scottish Athletics, Scottish Disability Sport, and his club Perth Strathtay Harriers since his coaching career began.

Jim has been the driving force behind the development and success of the club’s Inclusion group for young people and adults with disabilities and additional support needs, alongside his role as an advisor for Scottish Athletics and Scottish Disability Sport. The announcement comes ahead of the 25th annual UK Coaching Awards, a momentous event where coaches nationwide are recognised for their incredible contribution in transforming the lives and communities across their sport.

Jim competed for his club before transitioning into coaching four decades ago, and has been club president for 10 years. Beyond his work with his local club, he is also a UK Special Olympics Team Coach, a founding Trustee of the ‘Physical’ Sports charity, raising money to help youth sport in Perth and Kinross, and works closely with Perth Autism Support, the Blind Society, SHIP (Support, Help & Integration in Perthshire) and Perth & Kinross Disability Sport.

At the UK Coaching Awards, Jim is to be recognised for his outstanding service to participants with disabilities. Reflecting on his award, and an incredible career in coaching, he said:

I never imagined I would be part of the UK Coaching Awards process, and to be a winner of such a prestigious award is an incredible honour for me. Athletics and coaching has allowed me to travel across the UK, in Europe and beyond over the years. It is such a wonderful sport that allows anybody that wishes to take part, because it's not just one sport, there are lots of ways for people to participate and we can ensure inclusivity with just a little thought and planning.

“I think that Perth Strathay Harriers have always been a very open and welcoming club. We might need to prepare the support mechanisms, but that’s a normal approach to coaching, communicating with your athlete and supporting them best you can. I've been fortunate to work with athletes up to national and international level.

“What is clear to me is the psychological benefits, seeing the smile that they've achieved, whatever that little thing might be to begin with. It doesn't need to be winning a medal, it might just be standing up out of their wheelchair for the very first time. I’m very proud to encourage as many people as possible to support people to be active, and I have enjoyed my experience as a coach immensely.”

UK Coaching’s CEO Mark Gannon praised Aston and Jim and each of the exceptional finalists where winners are yet to be announced, reflecting on the huge variety of coaching talent for this year’s awards:

“I would like to extend a huge congratulations to both Aston and Jim on their fantastic work over many years of outstanding coaching. For our 25th UK Coaching Awards, this year the bar has been raised once again, and Aston and Jim are a worthy representatives of the coaching workforce who continue to show how the power of coaching changes lives and communities.

“It is so important that we acknowledge and thank all coaches, at all levels and in all settings, as they work tirelessly to support more people mentally and physically through physical activity and sport to help build communities, tackle inequalities and inspire people to be the best they can be, whatever their aspirations.”

Find out more about this year’s finalists and the awards by heading to: www.ukcoaching.org/uk-coaching-awards

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