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Our Awards

UK Coaching Awards 2022

Great Coaching Moment 2022

The Great Coaching Moment Award focuses not only on the material successes of coaches but on how they ground their work in putting people first. And with each of the incredible nominees, their unique connection with their team or athlete sets them apart and typifies what great coaching is all about.

Who wins? You decide.

Vote for your Great Coaching Moment of the Year by hitting the link to vote and register an account with us or login (if you already have an account). You will then also be able to read more about each inspirational moment as well as place your vote. Only one vote may be made per person.

Supported by Spond, voting closes 12:00pm Monday 5 December, with the winner announced at the awards Tuesday 6 December.

May the best moment win!

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

Liz McColgan-Nuttall MBE

Eilish McColgan’s 10,000 metres win completes remarkable Commonwealth Games family treble

Register or login to vote

This year's finalists announced

The Awards – regarded as the most prestigious within the coaching community – has for the past 25 years been a celebration of the tremendous impact of great coaches and great coaching – from delivering high quality technical coaching and improving physical capabilities, to supporting people holistically on their journey through sport and physical activity. 

From the nominations, an expert judging panel has carefully deliberated and selected the following finalists:

Awards for Coaches

You can learn more about each of the winners and finalists below (open to view the citation for each finalist):

Supported by Sport England this award recognises a coach who has empowered and inspired an individual from a diverse community through #GreatCoaching.

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Adam Romaine (parkour)

adam coaching partipant

A coach of parkour in Scotland, Adam works on a one-to-one level with a young person named Matthew who has Down’s syndrome and other complex needs. He has helped Matthew overcome significant barriers to take part in parkour, having previously tried many other sports.

Patient, reassuring and able to create a relaxed, inclusive environment, Adam has built trust and a person-centred relationship with Matthew, inspiring him to work towards his goals in a sport which would otherwise prove inaccessible. 

With sensitivity to noise, an obsessive compulsive disorder and limited range of movement, Adam empowers Matthew by providing space and the tools he needs to complete challenges and enjoy free time alongside his father. Having understood Matthew’s personality and limits, Adam adapts every class to suit, and has witnessed progression in skill, strength and social settings.

Parkour is the one constant activity for Matthew, who enjoys the organised weekly routines and loves working with Adam.

Adam has worked in various special needs schools to continually improve his parkour coaching.

Stephanie Buchanan (equestrian)

Stephanie is an equestrian coach for a British Horse Society-approved riding centre. She started the delivery of the BHS Changing Lives Through Horses programme at her centre, following the sudden loss of her nephew through suicide.

Keen to help others struggling with their mental health, Stephanie is a trustee of #Willdoes which promotes the positive impact of physical activity and sport to 15 schools in Dorset. The programme has resulted in pupils setting goals for post-16 education.

Stephanie’s coaching of pupils struggling in mainstream education is reflected in increased attendance and self-esteem. Her attentive teaching style actively encourages feedback, builds trust, develops confidence and nurtures a love of learning. She works with volunteers (including Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton) and psychotherapists to review information received, giving careful consideration to ensure the best support. Her tireless work has given purpose to many young people and reduced their isolation, providing them with a sense of belonging.

A lover of CPD, Stephanie has been recognised locally for her commitment to the programme and to children’s mental health.

Tony Kerr (paddlesports)

Coach preparing participant for paddle sport

Experienced paddlesports coach Tony is known for his meticulous preparation of sessions, all of which are tailored to the individual.

Whether kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding, Tony’s focus before, during and after is on what his participants want to achieve in sessions, making adjustments as necessary. Independence and confidence are developed in and out of the water, and those with additional needs are made to feel safe and empowered, ensuring his paddlesports sessions remain accessible and fun.

Tony’s helpful nature and desire to learn have successfully retained those with complex needs in paddlesports – something that previously looked unlikely due to the many barriers faced. Such is Tony’s impact, once nervous and deflated participants have rekindled their confidence and drive, with some wishing to emulate Tony and also become a coach!

He supports other coaches, volunteers for a club committee, and dedicates time to local canoe and climbing clubs with a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Supported by Sport England this award recognises the outstanding contribution of a coach in their community. This is a coach who has helped people take part more regularly, or helped people to start or stay, in sport and physical activity.

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Byron-lee Durkin White (wheelchair rugby)

byron-lee coaching wheelchair rugby

Since Byron began coaching the Puma's, there has been a significant positive change in each member, in their emotional, mental health and well-being, physically, and in their knowledge and gameplay. Byron faces a 160 mile round trip to coach the team but always arrives early to get to know players and offer advice.

Byron is a shining example to the players that, despite having life-changing injuries, life doesn't have to stop. He is testimony to how Wheelchair Rugby can be a life-saver for people who thought their disability would mean they could never play competitive sports again.

Heidi Blunden (cycling)

‘Coach’ isn't a broad enough term for the impact Heidi has had on Invictus Games participants. She helps with people’s mental health, their physical injuries, grows their social skills – the list goes on. As much a life coach as a cycling coach, others would have drawn a line where Heidi extended a hand.

Working with people that have been injured or fallen ill while serving in the armed forces, she had to learn and adapt to every individual need, ranging from PTSD and significant mental health issues to amputees and those suffering from degenerative diseases. Each session is adapted to allow every individual to reach their full potential, whilst ensuring no person is left behind.

Jordan Bedford (multi-sport)

Jordan coaching boxing

All Jordan’s sessions are delivered across homeless hostels, meaning participants are often vulnerable and experience extra barriers. Jordan removes as many of these barriers as he can, providing clothing, trainers, equipment and refreshments, all free of charge. The majority of sessions are run in the hostels, ensuring a safe space and friendly faces.

Those taking part choose the sport, time of day and most of the elements within the session – music, session type, when to switch to a game – ensuring they feel a part of the activity and encouraging them to remain involved.

Supported by the Children's Coaching Collaborative this award recognises the outstanding contribution of a coach who has helped children and young people to meet their sport and physical activity needs and aspirations.

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Bob Mowlem (football)

Bob coaching football to group of children

Bob has coached youth football for nearly 60 years and remains passionate to develop and learn, keeping himself fully up to date with the Football Association coaching practice.

Every player under his tutelage is asked to complete an age-appropriate player development sheet, with individual and group skill development plans – including any potential barriers – discussed and resolved with players and their guardians. Young players’ feedback in individual and team settings is important to maximise their enjoyment in Bob’s flexible, open sessions – sessions he promotes his players to help plan.

An FA-qualified welfare officer who supports player, coach and spectator codes of conduct, Bob offers his safe and bespoke coaching expertise for free and when within a club setting ensures reduced or waived subscriptions. He welcomes assistance from older youth players and other coaches, when required.

Bob has coached thousands of young footballers and served on various club and local youth league committees. In 2013 he received a grassroots heroes’ award as part of the FA’s 150th anniversary. He regularly mentors less experienced coaches.

John Daily (multi-sport)

John being presented an award

As a lead multi-sports fitness coach, John utilises his local knowledge to the benefit of the children and young people he coaches. Recognising the barriers families have to overcome to engage with sport, this volunteer coach for over 10 years invests time to understand the needs of every child, to help them overcome these hurdles and improve their health and well-being.

A sportscotland Active Schools Award Winner 2022, John has positively impacted over 100 pupils and their families thanks to sessions such as after-school fitness groups. He encourages children and young people to participate at a level they deem appropriate, highlighting pathways for progression into leadership and coaching positions. John ensures everyone who attends his sessions is made to feel welcome and safe, and that they leave having had an enjoyable experience.

An excellent communicator and CPD advocate, his supportive approach continues to prove beneficial to pupils, their families, school staff, his fellow coaches and volunteers. His information gathering and session feedback help formulate extracurricular programmes and inform local authority active schools planning.

Kady Chatman (equestrian)

Kady coaching participant with horse

As a Riding for the Disabled coach, Kady’s thorough session preparation promotes continual learning and rider development both in and away from the coaching environment.

Individually tailored pre-riding assessments and full disclosure goal-planning discussions with children, their guardians, volunteer leaders and side walkers, plus careful selection of specialised equipment and ponies, ensure safe and efficient sessions for her participants with various disabilities.

Kady builds rapport with the children and keeps sessions short and suited to their capability. She communicates with her riders’ health professionals to ensure best practice and liaises with guardians on a weekly basis. Her flexible approach and encouraging nature enable Kady to adapt sessions to accommodate any difficulty. Quick to praise progress, no matter how small, her awareness of body language with verbal and non-verbal riders is of significant benefit.

Riders on Kady’s fun programme are encouraged to contribute to session set-up and work towards proficiency awards in riding and horse care. Her inclusive ethos has introduced non-riding sessions for those unable to ride. She also trains volunteers to achieve required levels of competence.

Supported by UK Sport this award recognises the achievements of a coach working at the highest levels of performance in sport, either as coach of an individual or national team.

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Alexandre Rochas (diving)

Alexandre with bronze medal diving team

With 38 medals in 2022, including 16 golds at various tournaments – overseeing the best team result at this year’s Commonwealth Games and European Aquatic Championships – British Diving coach Alexandre knows how to get the best from his athletes.

Focusing on the thoughts of every diver comes before planning and developing micro and mesocycles for the season. Creating a safe psychological space and promoting complete involvement and continual development of athletes and support staff, Alexandre is adept at achieving balance between athlete encouragement and recognition of divers’ required recovery time in and away from the training environment.

His motivational demeanour and regular check-ins – actively listening to his athletes – plus willingness to adapt sessions to meet life demands, allow every diver to thrive; coaching methodologies that are supported by the team’s impressive medal haul.

Process-focused and goal-oriented, Alexandre concentrates on training loads and daily levels of mobility to mitigate injury risk. He also supports his athletes to develop an inclusive nature and good life values away from the pool, as well as mentoring other coaches.   

Simon Watts (cycling)

Simon coaching cyclist

Simon is a British Cycling coach and programme lead who has enjoyed much success, leading the mountain bike (MTB) team from 32nd to first in the world. Other recent achievements include coaching Tom Pidcock MBE to Olympic gold, under-23 and E-Mountain Bike world glory; Evie Richards to the elite world championship; and Annie Last to commonwealth gold.

His coaching prowess has, this year, seen his cyclists crowned cross-country European champions and cyclo-cross world champions. Simon has inspired many riders to achieve their goals and taste success.

With a background in teaching and community coaching, Simon’s transferrable skills have proved beneficial to podium coaching. A firm believer of participant welfare, health and well-being, his constant development of a person-centred coaching environment is key.

A keen learner who studies development pathways of other sports, Simon encourages his athletes to take ownership of their bikes, for their races and the coaching programme, and supports his determined team to ensure optimum delivery.

Simon’s proudest moments come from seeing riders not blessed with natural talent being able to deliver impressive results.

Tracy Whittaker-Smith MBE (gymnastics)

Tracy’s illustrious career in trampoline gymnastics spans 40 years, in which time she has coached at five Olympic Games and led numerous teams at major championships.

She coached her first junior world champion in 1986 and supported Jaime Halsey (nee Moore) to become the first-ever female British Olympian in trampoline gymnastics at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Individual planning and debriefing sessions are the cornerstones of her successful coaching programmes, supporting every gymnast to take responsibility for their own journey. Tracy’s meticulous planning and whole-person approach provide her gymnasts with the perfect springboard to achieve success in sport and life. Her efficient nature, twinned with her desire to see her athletes succeed, builds trust and enables the formation of dynamic relationships.

A studious person, Tracy is forever honing her coaching craft and learning from others, promoting productive performance conversations with her fellow coaches, athletes and support staff.

Recent success for Tracy came as Head National Coach for Trampolining at British Gymnastics, coaching double Olympic medallist Bryony Page to world glory in 2021 and the European title in 2022.

This award recognises a coach who delivers #GreatCoaching online via social media, apps or other online methods.

Beth Davidson (fencing)

Profile image of online coach Beth

When fencing stopped due to Covid, Beth quickly provided free online sessions for her club participants in north-east England – a move that was warmly received, evolving from two 90-minute sessions per week to five, and weekend workshops that included interactive discussions with sports psychologists and physiotherapists. Introductory videos also brought fencing to a new audience, with children’s classes focused on fun and staying active.

Beth’s Fencing @ Home concept soon galvanised an international community of participants and offset isolation at a time when face-to-face wasn’t possible. An interactive Facebook group and word of mouth brought participation across many levels in her online sessions in Australia, Canada, USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Philippines. Beth started running sessions at various times of day to accommodate different time zones.

Based on participants’ requirements and feedback, Beth reaches out to her network of sports professionals to deliver specialist workshops.

Fencing @ Home is able to share, for free, invaluable development videos to coaches thanks to Beth’s time at an international fencing federation academy in Budapest.

Janette Cardy (multi-sport)

Coach Jannette mid workout

As a multidisciplinary health and fitness coach, Janette has built a 200-strong online community and is a knowledgeable advocate for how regular exercise and improved well-being can benefit those experiencing menopause.

Her supportive, cohesive programmes, ‘always available’ attitude and receptive nature to feedback, promote an enjoyable route to sustained health and fitness for her clients, with provision of valuable menopause information thanks to her work with specialist doctors. Her years of experience ensure a purposeful environment for the women she coaches to discuss any age-related struggles with regards to their exercise and motivation.

Those who have benefited from Janette’s all-inclusive and fun approach to coaching believe her bespoke online programmes have positively improved their mindset and their physique, with realisation support is available to help with menopause, both for women and men.

This award recognises the achievements of a coach working with emerging and young athletes.

Peter Maliphant (orienteering)

Peter participating in orienteering competition

A junior orienteering squad coach in south-west England, Peter has navigated the difficulties presented by local terrain with aplomb, inspiring regional athletes in UK-wide competitions and empowering them to represent England and Great Britain at home and on the European and world stages.

His focus on individual development, with consideration of mental well-being, physical health and success - especially throughout the pandemic - proved uplifting to his squad members. His virtual sessions at this time prepared his athletes for success, post-lockdown. Peter is as much a mentor as he is a coach.

Recognising athletes are individuals, he takes time getting to know each person and their guardians, encouraging parental involvement. His tailored training support and competition analysis promote programme ownership, with his athletes setting – and achieving – personal goals. Such an approach to coaching has developed young people's skills, knowledge, confidence and awareness of the talent pathway.

An excellent listener and team player who actively supports other coaches, Peter recently won the British Orienteering Coach of the Year award.

Stephanie Gill (archery)

Coach Stephanie greeting participants

Stephanie is head junior coach of Deer Park Archers and is recognised for her ability to identify and develop talent. Her current archers have medalled at the European Youth Championships, made the national development programme, been selected for Archery GB's youth team and represented England, winning medals at the British Championships. One of Stephanie's archers with a disability continues to represent Great Britain in the able-bodied category.

Her whole-person coaching programmes and organised leadership of talent development from beginner level have resulted in Stephanie being appointed to the national youth squad. She supports young talent by developing confidence and independence, establishing positive partnerships and coaching all abilities, nurturing a fantastic culture for athletes and their guardians.

The highest standards of safety, safeguarding and team building are promoted in her sessions, with open discussions and innovative practices focused on development, strategy and confidence. Each person's success and hard work are celebrated.

A successful compound coach, Stephanie engages her athletes in video analysis, shares latest thinking, mentors other coaches, and runs national development workshops.

Vlada Priestman (archery)

Vlada with mascot at European Youth Archery Championships

Vlada has been a key member of the Archery GB performance pathway team since 2015 and has worked across the full spectrum of archery, from grassroots to elite level. She is also head coach of Lancaster University and Nethermoss Archery Club.

Developing archers at county and national level, her coaching prowess has supported Team GB representation and a significant medal haul at the European Youth Cup and European Youth Championships. Vlada's archers have secured podium positions at the Archery GB Youth Festival, with representation at the Commonwealth European Championships.

A former international archer herself who has dedicated 40 years to the sport, Vlada - selected on UK Sport's female coaches leadership programme - fully understands the requirements of archery. Her person-centred, supportive approach values her archers, their goals and an appreciation of life balance, with comprehensive, flexible training plans and debriefing sessions key to her success.

Working in a primary school helps Vlada relate to all her athletes, regardless of their age, meaning she's able to actively listen and tailor coaching programmes to individual needs.

Supported by Reading Room this award recognises the excellent work of a young coach who has helped and inspired people to reach their sport and physical activity needs and aspirations.

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Callum Windsor (parkour)

Callum giving participant a high five

In multiple ways, Callum goes above and beyond with his sessions at Aspire Parkour Academy. His session planning extends to 3D modelling of floor plans with detailed analysis of the optimum use of equipment. He then cascades this knowledge down to the assistant coaches and volunteers, ensuring participants enter an environment which feels structured, safe and directed.

Just as importantly, he then takes time to get to know those taking part, building rapport and encouraging them to design their own stations and challenges.

Callum is also able to switch between high performance groups and beginners, and is a key force behind the Sensory Friendly class.

Calum McCallum (multi-sport/rugby union)

Calum coaching rugby to children

Calum makes everything in his sessions feel like a game. From the way he divides children up into teams, to the way he finishes a session – getting them to help tidy up. He becomes a big kid and is so entertaining to watch coach and so engaging for those taking part.

A fantastic example of a child-first coach, Calum listens and learns about the young people he's leading before empowering them to steer sessions and bring their own ideas.

Lexie Williams (touch rugby / rugby union)

Profile image of Coach Lexie Williams

Lexie has worked hard to create an environment which focuses primarily on empowerment and motivation. At Southwest Saxons she has created a leadership group within which the players were encouraged to lead learning modules during training and feed back on which areas they thought needed additional training, creating a primarily player-led team. Each player also provides a positive piece of feedback for the team, for themselves or for the player next to them, building a strong sense of community.

Further awards on the night include the coaches of GB hockey star Laura Unsworth MBE, winners of the Coaching Chain award, the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Aston Moore and Jim Hunter, and Mussabini Medallists – the lead lead coaches of our Gold Medallists at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Aston Moore profile shot

Behind every great athlete is a consummate coach. As someone who has worked with an endless conveyor-belt of great athletes since being appointed UK Athletics National Event Coach for Horizontal Jumps 20 years ago, Aston Moore is the embodiment of consummate: a skilled technician with an unrivalled knowledge of the theory and methodology of coaching, and a genuine people person noted for his calming presence.

There are few in the corridors of athletics that Aston hasn’t positively influenced, having 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, driven by a compelling need to bring out the best in people – “I hate to see talent go to waste” has long been his mantra.

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.

A pillar of holistic support for his family of athletes, this was endearingly evidenced when 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. “He knows what I’m going through, how I’m feeling.”

More recently, Aston has shown his versatility by coaching in the Paralympic arena, where he has enjoyed notable success with champion long jumpers and sprinters Stef Reid MBE and Olivia Breen.

 

Jim Hunter coaching

Ask anyone at Scottish Athletics, Scottish Disability Sport, or Perth Strathtay Harriers – the club where, for more than 40 years, dedicated volunteer Jim has provided opportunities for thousands of young people to take part in athletics – and they will tell you that Jim doesn’t just break down barriers to participation, he smashes them!

The volume and breadth of what Jim has done to make a positive difference to the lives of young people across Scotland is astounding.

He is steeped in both the history of the club – he competed for the club before transitioning into coaching four decades ago and has been club president for 10 years – and the local community, delivering athletics in local schools and for several disability charities.

Since 2008, 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.

An advisor for Scottish Athletics and Scottish Disability Sport, Jim has become a champion for inclusion and is a leading advocate for the rights of disabled people to enjoy and succeed in athletics at every level, generating opportunities for recreational participation and creating performance pathways into regional, national, and international competition.

A UK Special Olympics Team Coach, Jim is 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.

The Coaching Chain award winners are: Peter Westbrook, Jane Sixsmith MBE, Tim Barlow, Jerome Goudie, Danny Kerry MBE, Karen Brown MBE, Craig Parnham, David Ralph

Great Britain’s most decorated hockey athlete of all time, Laura Unsworth MBE cemented her champion-level career when she won gold at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. Unsworth’s composure and ability to read a game, paired with her unmatched tough-tackling and ironclad determination, has enabled her to win over 300 caps for England and Great Britain.

Unsworth’s illustrious hockey journey began in the little town of Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, where she met coach Peter Westbrook. Westbrook helped encourage her and her teammates to fall in love with the sport in a friendly and fun environment.

At Sutton Coldfield, Unsworth then linked up with Olympic Games bronze medallist and hockey idol, Jane Sixsmith MBE. Sixsmith’s success in the sport had inspired Unsworth to play hockey, and the opportunity to be coached by her was a dream come true. That experience, and the later chance to play alongside her, ensures that to this day, Sixsmith remains a key and supportive mentor in Unsworths’ career.

Unsworth ascended through the Midlands Hockey system and was fast-tracked into Tim Barlow’s Development Coaching Centre. Barlow was immediately impressed by her hunger and ability to read a game.

At Loughborough University, Head Coach Jerome Goudie introduced Unsworth to the hard work required to reach the very top. On Goudie’s hockey programme, Unsworth’s technical and physical skills developed significantly.

Craig Parnham started coaching Unsworth in 2007 when he was Head Coach of the England Under 21 team. After seeing her passion and enjoyment for the sport, Parnham knew she would have a long career.

Unsworth moved swiftly through the ranks and into the England and Great Britain Senior Hockey teams, where she linked up with Head Coach Danny Kerry MBE. As part of England’s young and hungry squad, Unsworth became a catalyst for their transformation into the new faces of English and British hockey.

She faced a baptism of fire at the 2009 Sydney Champion’s Trophy, where she doubted her own ability and even said to England and Great Britain coach Karen Brown MBE, “Will I ever be good enough to play international hockey?” Brown knew at that moment that Unsworth didn’t just want to compete at the highest level: she wanted to win at the highest level.

Unsworth reached the pinnacle of hockey when she claimed gold at the Rio Olympic Games. England Hockey Coach David Ralph continues to inspire her to improve and adapt her game, challenging and supporting her to continue to work hard and strive to achieve her very best.

Awards in Support of Coaches

The following categories were awarded in support of coaches:

This award is for an individual who has made a significant contribution to the learning and development of coaching and individual coaches. The recipient will have consistently delivered high quality learning and development programmes.

Brogan Jones (multi-sport)
Brogan coaching football

Brogan works with her apprentices to encourage lifelong learning habits, to empower coaches to take ownership of their own learning and to develop independent and reflective coaches that are responsive to the needs of their participants.

She encourages learners to give feedback to others, giving them control and allowing them to analyse and highlight, which empowers them to reflect on their own coaching as a result. This has created a tightly knit group, creating a safe place for them to give advice to each other throughout their apprenticeships.

Brogan puts young people at the heart of everything she does, with a huge emphasis on their personal support and mentoring them holistically. She develops deep connections with apprentices to create a learning and improvement culture that allows them to thrive within their organisations.

Jesse Engelbrecht (squash)

Jesse holding racket on court

Jesse is continually at the forefront of gaining knowledge in his field. He collates good practices from other industries and regularly runs workshops for his coaching team. Alongside this, Jesse sends videos and blogs to his coaches via WhatsApp groups and follows these up with discussions. Coaches are also given opportunities to present their own best practice methods to the group. These habits and behaviours Jesse is instilling is creating an open and thriving learning culture amongst his team.

Open, honest, and clear communication is one of Jesse’s strengths and because of this the coaches are well organised and constantly learning from each other. Having created a programme that caters for all participants, Jesse allocates coaches based on their strengths, helping them develop their own coach-athlete relationship.

Simon Kirkland (multi-sport)

Simon always starts by creating a safe environment for coaches, by identifying their needs, motivations, expectations and understanding their fears. This sets up a culture that can help them create excellent experiences for those they coach.

As Founder of Sport Structures, developing people has always been a key principle for Simon. In his tutoring, assessment and mentoring processes, he takes the time to ensure coaches see the connection and relevance with course content and activities. He is a big advocate of work-based learning opportunities and has worked with organisations to help them see the value of apprenticeships.

This award recognises a coach-led podcast that delivers, inspires and informs #GreatCoaching.

Locked in Shed

Richard in recording studio

With 2400 listeners, the Locked in Shed podcast about art, science and the history of snowsports coaching transcends core skiing coaching, highlighting the transferrable principles that can be utilised in sport and life away from sport.

What it means to be skilful and models relating to perception, emotion and technique are regularly discussed, as is the role of tasks in determining behaviour when coaching. Levels of activity reviews and the abilities of different levels of performer to process information mean this engaging and entertaining podcast’s coaching principles can be – and have been – utilised across five Olympic sports.

The differences between versatility and adaptability; the intentions and attention of performers and coaches; as well as the role of artificial ski slopes in developing snowsports feature prominently on this podcast, which lists renowned sports coaching expert John Shedden as one of its guests.

Parkour Coach Companion

parkour coach companion founder profile image

Born in the pandemic lockdown of 2020, Parkour Coach Companion continues to keep people connected with regular interviews and engaging episodes, bringing together international voices of parkour and curating coaching knowledge from the community.

Parkour Coach Companion is the most prominent parkour coaching podcast in the UK, serving its 976 listeners with knowledge in an organic way and presenting information those in other sports can benefit from.

Its unique features highlight individual experiences of parkour across all levels, ensuring full access to knowledge and connecting listeners to scholarship opportunities.

World-famous parkour practitioners Callum Powell and Flynn Disney are listed as blue ribbon guests on Parkour Coach Companion. This three-hour recording covers everything from the origins of parkour, the growth of the sport, what is deemed as ‘success’, parkour business and potential growth opportunities.

Walking on Air

mary hiking in the woods

Walking on Air raises awareness of Nordic walking to its 1000+ listeners every month. With over 12,500 downloads, the podcast promotes the benefits of a sport – originally developed for elite athletes to maintain fitness – as an effective way for people to enjoy gentle, joyful exercise in an inclusive environment. 

Discussions around how the internationally recognised Nordic walking technique can be adapted for people with a range of health conditions, from arthritis and amputation to menopause and issues with mental health, feature prominently. These talks help people overcome barriers to exercise, promote learning of new drills, develop confidence and ensure delivery of the sport to the wider community, improving inclusivity and diversity.

Walking on Air is proud to have featured Simon Clarke on its show. Simon survived a car crash in which his partner died. In hospital for six months, he was told he would never walk again. Having learnt how to Nordic walk, he has since completed Cotswold Way and is now training for an expedition to Everest Base Camp.

Supported by sportscotland this award is for a project, programme or intervention that uses #GreatCoaching to get more people from diverse backgrounds active, and to stay active.

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Camp Inspire (multi-sport)

Participants being coaching at Camp Inspire

Part of the Chesterfield Football Club Community Trust, Camp Inspire runs disability friendly multi-sport sessions for individuals with special educational needs (SEND).

Having helped over 300 children and young people (CYP) from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in Chesterfield and north-east Derbyshire, the Camp Inspire collaborative programmes offer families improved access to care and inclusive opportunities for CYP with severe disabilities and complex needs to be able to enjoy holiday clubs and activities they may have otherwise been turned away from. Such involvement empowers CYP to take part in inclusive sport and physical activity, improving health, social interaction, confidence and physical literacy, while allowing their families respite.

Camp Inspire ensures its team of well-trained specialists make every camp a truly inclusive place. Programme delivery is highly adaptive and much regarded. Camp Inspire recognises many of its participants are from low-income families and provides a daily hot meal for those who attend.

Staff and participants alike are actively encouraged to share their thoughts, to ensure everyone has the best experience. A reward system is also in place to recognise and celebrate health and well-being success.

Sense Sport & Physical Activity Programme - Midlands (multi-sport)

Group of participants and coach at Sense Sport

The Midlands-based Sense Sport & Physical Activity Programme supports individuals with complex needs to become active and provides opportunities in activities like rock-climbing, swimming, sailing, ice-skating and walking.

Sense challenges the opinion that people with complex needs are unable to do adventurous activities. Despite initial scepticism, the tailored, outcome-oriented weekly programmes – backed by 25 years’ experience – ensure people with complex needs can access the physical, social and mental health benefits of sport. In the past year, Sense has worked with six activity providers and countless support workers to enhance communication, develop friendships and improve the health and fitness of 80+ disabled participants a total of 700 times. The all-inclusive Sense programme has brought renewed confidence to those with complex needs – a fresh belief in their skills that had been eroded due to the Covid pandemic – and enhanced awareness for carers.

Sense upskills workers and external activity providers to work with disabled people in sport. Such has been its success, Sense is available to access externally, providing support to those who may otherwise not receive it.

Worcester RFC Mixed Ability (rugby union)

Group of people at rugby training

The Worcester RFC Mixed Ability programme welcomes players of all abilities, focusing on individuals with a disability, under-represented communities and people returning from injury. An adapted version of rugby union means everybody is included as part of a framework that promotes continual learning and development, and improves fitness, confidence and skill.

One-on-one consultations with new members and their guardians mean no stone is left unturned to ensure the provision of positive, fun and fully inclusive sessions. Activities are demonstrated in a variety of ways to cater for all learning styles, and the safeguarding officers utilised within the programme mean players have access to additional support throughout.

The programme actively recruits players to coaching positions and roles such as team manager and social secretary. In the five years the programme has been running, 100+ new members have joined the club, with 30–40 people attending training twice a week. Worcester RFC Mixed Ability placed as the top ranked side in England at the recent International Mixed Ability Rugby Tournament.

UK Coaching’s CEO Mark Gannon reflects on the huge variety of coaching talent announced as finalists, saying:

We are delighted to welcome our finalists to the 25th UK Coaching Awards this year, and it is only right that great coaching is celebrated in the fullest sense. From over 350 nominations – a staggering amount – this year the bar has been raised once again, and whilst we are fully aware of the power of coaching across the UK, our brilliant coaching workforce continues to surprise us and change lives and communities.

“It is so important that we acknowledge and thank our coaches as they work tirelessly to support more people into physical activity and sport across all levels to help build communities, tackle inequalities and inspire people to be the best they can be, whatever their aspirations.

“This year has been a special one for major events and competitions like the Commonwealth Games and Women’s European Championships that have delivered outstanding performances from athletes and coaches alike.

The awards showcase the very best of coaching at all levels and we look forward to celebrating with the nominees and winners on the night.

“A huge thank you, to all our coaches across the UK, and to our finalists. We are all looking forward to celebrating your achievements in December.”

The UK Coaching Awards recognise and reward great coaching from a diverse array of backgrounds, honouring people and organisations that demonstrate the role #GreatCoaching plays in transforming lives and making the nation a healthier and happier place.

UK Coaching Awards 2022 Sponsors:

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