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18 Nov 2022 116

Voting opens for UK’s 2022 Great Coaching Moment

After an incredible year of sport, including multiple major competitions taking place on home soil, UK Coaching has opened the voting for the public to choose their standout coaching moment of 2022 ahead of the 25th annual UK Coaching Awards

The Great Coaching Moment of the Year* – supported by Spond – celebrates not only the outright success of coaches, but their devotion to their team or athlete and how they have embodied the ethos of great coaching. This year’s shortlist has shown a unique commitment and exceptional leadership to lay the foundations for historic sporting successes.

Nominated and judged by an independent panel, this year’s finalists are:

Sarina Wiegman – England end 56 years of hurt with victory at Euro 2022

The nation roared in unison as the Lionesses won the European Championships at a delirious Wembley Stadium to end England football’s interminable trophy drought that had stretched back to 1966.

On the day football – finally – came home, it was a Dutch coach who became the pride of England. Sarina Wiegman deservedly took her share of the plaudits in recognition of a coaching masterclass every bit as magnificent as the tournament heroics of her players.

David Murdoch MBE – Team Muirhead win gold for women’s curlers at Beijing

When Great Britain curling coach David Murdoch teamed up with another Goliath of Scottish curling in four-time Olympian Eve Muirhead OBE for this year’s Winter Olympics, Team GB had high hopes. And sure thing, ‘Team Muirhead’ held their nerve and delivered. Eve, Vicky Wright MBE, Hailey Duff MBE, Jen Dodds MBE and Mili Smith MBE were all worth their weight in gold as Team GB secured their only gold medal of the Games – and first curling gold for 20 years. It was, says David, “the perfect performance” as Japan were brushed aside 10-3 in the final.

David Ralph – England women’s hockey team strike Commonwealth gold for the first time

Since hockey was introduced as a Commonwealth Games sport in 1998, England women have endured a catalogue of near misses. That they ended their jinx against old foes Australia – who England had failed to beat in eight games stretching back nine years – made the moment all the sweeter.

The unrestrained joy was mirrored by the coaching staff, particularly David Ralph, the man tasked with improving on England’s record of silver medals in 1998, 2002 and 2014 and bronze medals in 2006, 2010 and 2018.

Liz McColgan-Nuttall MBE – Eilish McColgan’s 10,000 metres win completes remarkable Commonwealth Games family treble

On the 25th and final lap at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, Eilish McColgan in front of her mother and running coach – Liz McColgan-Nuttall – summoned the energy for a finishing kick and squeezed past the right shoulder of Irene Cheptai with 70 metres to go. She held off the Kenyan to win the 10,000 metres title in thrilling fashion, emulating the achievement of her mum Liz, who won the 10,000 metres gold in Edinburgh in 1986 and Auckland in 1990. 

Liz has been Eilish’s running coach since she was 12, and this moment was the culmination of 20 years’ hard work. She had just watched her daughter break another of her long-distance records – this one having stood for 32 years – but the proud coach and super proud mum was all the happier for it.

Discussing the shortlist for this year’s Great Coaching Moment of the Year, UK Coaching CEO Mark Gannon said:

With so many major competitions and historic successes on home soil over the last year, there is no shortage of fantastic sporting moments to choose from. This award is not only about delivering success on the grandest scale, but also the relationship between the coach and their athletes.

“The coach sets an environment whereby the athlete or team can thrive on the task at hand, but more importantly, they are there to support the person in front of them, who is aspiring to be the best they can be. Coaching is a people business and ultimately people inspire people.

“I cannot wait to see who the public chooses at our UK Coaching Awards 2022.”

Trine Falnes, Spond CEO, commented:

“Everyone at Spond is delighted to be supporting the Great Coaching Moment award. We believe that every moment in coaching has the potential to be great, which is why our mission is to take the hard work out of teamwork, creating more time for coaches to do what they love and coach. Regardless of their sport, coaches bring so much dedication, passion and energy to the table, and it often goes unrecognised, so it’s great to see them being celebrated in this way.”

The UK Coaching Awards are set to take place on Tuesday 6 December 2022 and will recognise and celebrate the work of people and organisations who are making a significant impact in communities across the country.

To vote for your greatest coaching moment, visit ukcoaching.org/gcm-2022. The public vote will close midday 5 December 2022.

*Qualifying period for the Great Coaching Moment of the Year: 1 November 2021 – 31 October 22

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