We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

Our Awards

UK Coaching Awards 2023

This year's winners announced

The UK Coaching Awards is a national celebration event, regarded as the most prestigious within the coaching community and created to celebrate the remarkable contributions coaches make – from delivering high quality and technical coaching, to supporting participants both physically and mentally.

The awards shine a light on the UK’s coaching workforce, the unforgettable moments they deliver, and their profound impact at every level of sport and physical activity.

On 5 December 2023, at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, the coaching community came together for the UK Coaching Awards to celebrate and acknowledge the immense difference they make.

In a night filled with celebration, UK Coaching not only acknowledged the significant achievements of ten award recipients but also honoured renowned FA children’s coach Peter Sturgess, the esteemed coaches of Lioness Lucy Bronze MBE, and the exceptional leadership of Great Coaching Moment winner, England Wheelchair Rugby League head coach Tom Coyd MBE.

From the initial list of finalists in each category, worthy winners have been chosen for each of the following awards:

Change a Life Award, supported by Sport England

Dawn Whitmore-Kirby (equestrian)

Coach Developer of the Year, supported by Blacks Solicitors

Wasim Collins (multi-sport)

Coaching Podcast of the Year

British Canoeing Coaching Podcast (paddlesport)

Community Coach of the Year (Adults), supported by Sport England

Jack Davey (wheelchair basketball)

Community Coach of the Year (Children and Young People), supported by the Children's Coaching Colloborative / Play Their Way

Luke Carpenter (gymnastics)

High Performance Coach of the Year, supported by UK Sport

Adam Elliott (triathlon)

Inclusive Coaching

Community Boxing Apprenticeship Programme (boxing)

Online Coach of the Year

Ian Northcott (multi-sport)      

Talent Development Coach of the Year

Kiana Stagg (netball)

Young Coach of the Year, supported by Reading Room

Gabrielle Reid (boxing)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Sturgess (football)

Great Coaching Moment

Tom Coyd MBE (wheelchair rugby league)

Coaching Chain – Lucy Bronze MBE (football)

  • Ray Smith
  • Doug Thoburn
  • Anson Dorrance
  • Chris Welburn
  • Michael Mulhern
  • Maureen ‘Mo’ Marley
  • Matt Beard
  • Phil Neville
  • Sarina Wiegman OON MBE

Read the full story.

Awards for Coaches

Take a moment to learn more about our winners and finalists and explore their remarkable journeys 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.

ukc-onukc-off

Dawn Whitmore-Kirby (Equestrian) Winner

As a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) coach with 43 years’ experience, Dawn coaches people aged 2–84 who possess a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, breaking down barriers to enable rider participation. The Wenlo Group, one of Dawn’s associations, boasts over 80 regular attendees.

In 2014, Dawn became a Fellow of RDA for her coaching ability and technical skill. Going on to win the most prestigious volunteer award in the RDA, she has coached riders to success at regional and national level, as well as at the Special Olympics.

Dawn ensures that her participants feel seen and heard. They are involved, motivated, inspired, encouraged, and supported to grow their self-esteem and self-worth. She has also supported formerly non-verbal participants to learn how to communicate verbally and reach goals they never thought possible.

Gwilym lolo Lewis (Rugby Union)

Mixed-ability rugby union thrives at Llanelli Warriors, thanks to player-coaches like Gwilym.

With 26 seasons and nearly 400 matches under his belt, Gwilym’s passion for the sport is matched only by his desire to help as many people as possible. His coaching of players with and without disabilities has set an aspirational benchmark.

The inclusive nature of Gwilym’s work fosters a supportive environment. Immersive experiences have afforded those under his tutelage the chance to enjoy World Cup-style tournaments and international tours to New Zealand and Samoa.

Gwilym has had a life-enhancing impact on a player with learning difficulties. The player found a family at the Warriors, improving his self-confidence, and his experiences have led him to become their captain and eventually, a qualified Level 1 coach.

Anne-Marie Davison (Canicross)

England Athletics-qualified coach Anne-Marie is also a coach of canicross – trail running and hiking with dogs – as well being a run fitness leader, and a fell, hill, mountain, and trail leader.

Qualified in both first aid and canine first aid, Anne-Marie has been coaching participants new to canicross for five years, encouraging people to enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle with their dogs.

Her coaching has had an immense impact on her clients, including a woman who joined the group to get fit and lose weight for IVF. Since joining, she has participated in several races, changed her diet and lifestyle, and is (at the time of writing) 20 weeks pregnant!

Responding to feedback, she has added different trail routes and more challenging sessions as well as several fitness classes.

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.

ukc-onukc-off

Jack Davey (Wheelchair Basketball) Winner

Jack's charismatic coaching style shines in his role as the Head Coach and Chairperson of the Exeter Otters Wheelchair Basketball Club.

His friendly, approachable demeanour enables him to have sensitive conversations, often related to complex medical backgrounds, fostering personalised training plans and adapted drills.

Jack's positive impact is evident in the club's growth, doubling its player count since 2022, and ensuring each member feels valued and celebrated, boosting their confidence. He accommodates diverse learning styles, supports a deaf member with visual aids, maintains engagement through dynamic sessions, and nurtures a strong sense of community.

Jack's professional experience and role as a mobility advisor for RGK Wheelchairs highlights his commitment to enabling more people to enjoy the social, physical, and mental benefits of wheelchair basketball.

Lauren Matthews (Netball)

"An exceptional role model,” Lauren has achieved a significant amount, creating inclusive environments where everyone is supported to meet their goals.

As a 26-year-old head coach and the youngest-ever chairperson of a local netball association in Scotland, her willingness to help others enjoy the sport is reflected in the numbers that frequent her sessions.

Completing a full-time master’s degree in mental health nursing and working part-time have not prevented Lauren from transforming netball in her region.

Her countless hours of volunteering have taken the sport to new heights. Responsible for the first-ever local association social league, Lauren’s efforts have attracted over 850 people.

Without direct financial assistance, her fundraising has hugely benefited her local netball scene.

Ross Goodwin (Judo)

Over his 15-year coaching career, Ross has built an inclusive community through judo. His 'everyone welcome' approach ensures that his sessions offers physical and mental well-being benefits to people of all ages, genders, abilities, and disabilities.

Beyond judo, Ross's sport camps foster community inclusion by connecting participants with local clubs such as boxing, MMA, acrobatics, and pro-wrestling.

Becoming one of the UK's youngest Judo coaches at 16, Ross has continued to advance professionally, establishing a successful children's wrestling academy and a thriving personal training business, using these experiences to enhance his judo coaching knowledge.

Creating a Kaidokan community, Ross has built a hub where students, families, coaches, and assistants can come together and give back to the local community.

Supported by the Children's Coaching Collaborative and the Play Their Way campaign, 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.

ukc-onukc-off

Luke Carpenter (Gymnastics) Winner

Gymnastics coach Luke stands out for his exceptional personal approach.

He takes time to connect with each gymnast, engaging with them individually by asking questions and showing a genuine interest in their well-being. He ensures that each participant's voice is empowered through personalised attention and support, making every child feel both valued and heard.

Luke plays a vital role in empowering young leaders within the programme, recognising their value in sessions and skill development. With unwavering dedication to session planning and delivery, he intervenes when necessary and encourages reflection for improvement.

Luke’s adaptability ensures that all participants leave sessions with a desire to return for more, embodying the club ethos of #ItsMyJourney and leaving a lasting positive impact on children and young people.

Tina Gordon (Wheelchair Basketball)

A passion for coaching exudes from Tina, who has, for the last eight years, taught wheelchair basketball to young people with physical disabilities.

With a coaching career spanning three decades, she takes joy in seeing how participation in wheelchair basketball promotes confidence, develops friendships, and helps players become more independent on and off the court.

She cultivates a culture of feedback and empowerment, integrating group discussions and initiating a Junior Committee to amplify the voices of younger players.

Disability Inclusion Manager for basketballscotland, Tina has coached at all levels of the game. She brings a wealth of experience to her role as under-14s junior coach at Lothian Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club, having previously coached at European, world and Paralympic level.

Tara Edwards (Gymnastics and community sport)

Former gymnast Tara is heavily involved in community work with children in her roles with Valleys Gymnastics Academy and StreetGames.

A new mum herself, she is passionate about making a difference for children who live in deprived communities, by giving them opportunities they may not otherwise have.

Tara’s role as Community and Outreach Manager for Valleys Gymnastics Academy and her multi-sport work with StreetGames help people overcome barriers to participation in sport and physical activity.

Tara excels in child-centred coaching, tailoring her approach to individual needs and effectively communicating to help them achieve their goals. She’s an innovative coach, utilising a range of approaches in her sessions, and actively seeks feedback to ensure young people have a voice in their interactions.

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.

ukc-onukc-off

Adam Elliott (Triathlon) Winner

Adam’s coaching philosophy centres on athletes’ ownership of their journey. He actively involves them in crafting training plans and group sessions, fostering transparency and a sense of ownership.

What sets Adam apart is his ability to explain coaching decisions and their benefits, enriching his participants’ knowledge and personal growth.

Over the last 12 months, Adam’s coaching has yielded remarkable success, with British Triathlon’s Alex Yee securing medals in five of eight events, including a gold and silver at the Paris Olympic Games Test Event. Sophie Coldwell clinched her first gold medal in a World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) race under his guidance, and he coached Connor Bentley to a U23 World Championships gold and a Team GB silver at the European Games.

Jess Thirlby (Netball)

This summer, the England Roses achieved a historic milestone by reaching the Netball World Cup final for the first time. Leading this extraordinary campaign was Jess, known for her person-first leadership style.

Despite the challenge of managing athletes scattered globally, she invested in connecting with and nurturing them, fostering a united team. Jess’s approach aligns with the “Roses Way” philosophy, emphasising autonomous thinking, feedback, and players’ involvement in shaping schedules and sessions. She encourages players to lead workshops and discussions, showcasing her empowering coaching style.

Jess tailors her coaching to bring out the best in each player and demonstrates a creative, optimistic approach that fuels growth for both staff and players.

Tom Coyd MBE (Wheelchair Rugby League)

England’s path to the 2022 Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup Final against France showcased the environment Tom meticulously cultivated over the previous year. The thrilling final, concluded with a four-point victory, a testament to Tom’s leadership.

Tom coaches a diverse squad, encompassing disabled and non-disabled players of all genders, reflecting Wheelchair RL’s inclusivity. He excels in understanding athletes through regular online contact and active involvement in club games. Post-World Cup feedback emphasised player well-being, continual improvement, and player engagement in decision-making.

The World Cup triumph, coupled with the team’s humility, earned Tom an MBE earlier this year, in recognition of his contributions to Rugby League.

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

Ian Northcott (Multi-sport) Winner

Head Coach at Mercian Nordic Walking Limited Ian Northcott leads enjoyable walking groups for older people.

In the lead-up to 2020, the COVID-19 restrictions meant that Ian had to take his group online, where he’s gone from strength to strength. What was initially a temporary measure has become a hugely successful programme of online activities, from mobility work to indoor rowing.

Now, while his outdoor groups continue to thrive, the online sessions have enabled Ian to reach and support even more people to participate in and enjoy physical activity.

His enthusiasm for knowledge and learning is passed on to his participants, empowering them to stay active beyond his sessions, and his dedication to personal support ensures that everyone feels safe and motivated.

Louise Walden-Edwards (Ice Skating)

Louise is the founder of VO:ICE Fitness & Wellbeing Academy, a ‘Virtual Online’ platform for the ice skating and fitness coaching she’s been doing for over 20 years.

Despite being only three years into her online coaching journey, Louise excels in her ability to prioritise individuals at her sessions, regularly reviewing progress and offering free advice outside of the formal sessions.

The person-centred approach of VO:ICE enables clients with a wide range of ability levels and backgrounds to benefit from the same sessions, while Louise brings her own experiences – from being a former British Ice Dance Champion, to suffering from chronic pain and hypothyroidism – into her coaching, creating an environment characterised by empathy and expertise.

Steve Shreeve (Multi-sport)

Personal trainer Steve is renowned as a skilled and effective online coach who takes the time to fully understand each client and their specific needs before working with them, underlining his coaching practice with empathy and compassion.

Less than three years after launching his online coaching services, over 80% of Steve’s sessions are now delivered digitally, with specialisms including during and post-pregnancy fitness, overcoming joint pain, and COVID-19 rehabilitation enabling more people to enjoy the benefits of participation.

Steve evaluates and provides feedback following sessions, which is always full of praise and nuggets of advice and recommendations. His use of a dedicated app has made connecting and supporting people even more effective, enabling Steve to be there for his participants whenever additional support is needed.

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

Kiana Stagg (Netball) Winner

Kiana’s coaching journey spans Magic Netball Club and London Pulse U15 and U17 squads, marked by exceptional achievements. In the last 12 months she led the U15 squad to a strong 2nd place nationally at the School Games.

Most impressively, she transitioned the predominantly U15 group to the U17 National Performance League, guiding them to 1st place in the U17 National Performance Southern League.

Her coaching approach prioritises personalised attention and support which helps foster a sense of ownership among players.

Kiana’s dedication extends to coordinating training schedules and fixtures for the entire club and supporting players in the England Netball Talent Pathway.

She sets a notable example by dedicating her free time to continuous professional development, while managing her coaching and teaching responsibilities.

Joel Enoch (Cycling)

Joel has revolutionised the para cycling pathway in just a year, emphasising athlete well-being and holistic development over statistics. His approach engages, nurtures, and supports riders.

Under Joel’s guidance, Millie Cass secured a historic bronze medal at the UCI World Cycling Championships, an unprecedented feat for British Cycling’s talent programmes.

Joel’s coaching style is serene yet highly engaging, focusing on future progress through active listening and thoughtful guidance. He transparently outlines objectives at the season’s start, creating a community and high-performance environment. Sharing his extensive knowledge from various life areas inspires and engages those around him.

Joel embodies values of inclusion and integrity, fostering commitment and support among all involved.

Emma Burgon-Kisby (Para-Track Sprint Athletics)

A coaching philosophy centred on the individual, positivity and empowerment allows Emma to shine in her role as a rehabilitation and performance coach.

Committed to best practice, her focus on athletics, road running, triathlon and general fitness has unlocked the potential of many people with permanent and acute injury.

Emma has worked closely with athletes from recreational to elite para level. An active listener, her philosophy of fully understanding athletes’ unique challenges and aspirations promotes individual growth.

Emma’s approach has a profound impact on the mental and physical health of her participants. With extensive qualifications, years of hands-on experience and a holistic approach, Emma optimises training, customises plans, promotes resilience and elevates athletic performance.

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.

ukc-onukc-off

Gabrielle Reid (Boxing) Winner

Part of the first cohort of Community Boxing Apprentices, Gabrielle Reid is a boxing coach with a strong commitment to inclusivity.

Gabrielle co-creates and adapts activities to enable participants with varying needs to participate and reach their goals and seeks feedback to guide the evolution of future sessions and to better support the people taking part.

Gabrielle has had an incredible impact in her first year of coaching, creating a vibrant and empowering atmosphere that fosters positivity, pride and fulfilment in the children and young adults that attend.

She has not only been key to introducing boxing to individuals who have only had limited opportunities to participate but also provides a safe and supportive environment in which they can play and explore.

Daniel Knight (Wheelchair Rugby)

As Assistant Head Coach of Dragons Wheelchair Rugby, Daniel has played a crucial role in not only setting up Dragons as a fully functioning club – he was part of the original eight-week trial in 2019 – but also in creating a thriving culture that promotes inclusivity and development.

Over the past year, this has led to success on the pitch (the Dragons are Judgement Day champions) and off the pitch, with players taking pride in their achievements and the roles they have played, with a growing feeling that they are not only a successful competitive team but also a family.

Daniel also uses partnership work to enable and encourage players to build relationships and confidence and casual competitions and fun games to build camaraderie.

Bradley Colver (Triathlon)

Bradley Colver is an integral part of the coaching team at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. Often the first to know an athlete’s name, Bradley prioritises people, taking the time to ensure that they feel welcomed and valued, and to understand their individual goals.

At Brad’s sessions, participants can learn and develop the skills required for the sport in a fun and relaxed environment that empowers confidence and creates opportunities for skill development.

His weekly Thursday bike courses are adapted to reflect the demands of upcoming races while also keeping participants challenged and engaged.

Passionate about ensuring that people have a positive experience, Brad has a reputation for making races professional but fun, creating a culture of pride in competing for the centre.

Also awarded on the night will be the Lifetime Achievement Award, this year awarded to the FA's Peter Sturgess, and the Coaching Chain Award, this year honouring the coaches of Lionesses legend Lucy Bronze.

The Lifetime Achievement Award stands as a tribute to coaches who consistently exceed expectations in positively shaping the experiences of individuals involved in sport and physical activity, across various levels from grassroots to elite competitions, while the Coaching Chain Award signifies and celebrates the importance of progressive, person-centred coaching and the continuous dedicated support and time invested in athletes throughout their careers.

Read about the Lifetime Achievement Award and this year's recipient.

Read about the Coaching Chain Award and this year's recipients.

With an illustrious 17-year tenure at The Football Association (FA), Peter has left an indelible mark on the world of football. His unwavering commitment and boundless passion have reshaped the sport, from grassroots to the international stage.

As the Technical Lead for the 5-11 age group players in the Foundation Phase, Pete's focus on nurturing young talent has been a game-changer. His dedication to providing the best introduction to the game has kindled a lifelong love for football in countless children. His insights and vision also played a pivotal role in shaping England Football's DNA, the foundation of today's international success.

Peter's contributions to the Skills Programme have not only impacted players and coaches but have also inspired fellow coach developers. Colleagues describe his captivating teaching style, emphasising child and player development. His exceptional ability to connect with players and coaches on the field sets him apart.

Known for his humility and leadership, Peter places the child at the centre of every footballing experience. He leads by example, even in the face of challenges, displaying exceptional people skills that extend beyond the game.

His knack for distilling complex ideas into simple, profound messages has made him a revered developer of individuals, regardless of age. His selflessness is another defining trait, reflecting his dedication to the sport's betterment.

As one colleague aptly said, "His legacy and his role in developing football in England can never be quantified but will never be forgotten.”

The Coaching Chain award winners are: Ray Smith, Doug Thoburn, Anson Dorrance, Chris Welburn, Michael Mulhern, Maureen ‘Mo’ Marley, Matt Beard, Phil Neville and Sarina Wiegman.

One of the best and most influential full backs in women’s football, Lucy Bronze, has had 10 years of consistent, impactful performances, cementing herself as a household name. She was a key member of England’s European Championship success, a first major trophy since 1966, and inspired countless young girls across the country to play football. Bronze now has 114 senior caps for her country and established herself in European football.

Although Bronze has competed for teams in Sunderland, Merseyside, Manchester, Lyon, and Barcelona, it was in Alnwick where her story commenced, and it is there that her first coach, Ray Smith, made his mark. Bronze played with Alnwick Town junior team until she was 12, whilst also captaining her school football team at Duchess Community High School.

Lucy's introduction to playing for an all-girls team came at Blyth Town, where she crossed paths with coach Doug Thoburn. Doug quickly recognised Lucy's potential and, right from the start of their coaching journey together, confidently declared, "She’ll play for England.” Recognising her formidable qualities of power, strength, and fearlessness, Doug, through his coaching, consistently nurtured and enhanced those attributes.

Bronze chose North Carolina to balance education and her passion for football. She won a scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to be coached by Anson Dorrance. Referred to by Lucy as “one of the biggest influences” in her career, Dorrance’s innovative training methods were key to her development as a player. Impressed by her natural talent and physical prowess at soccer camps, Dorrance's support fuelled Bronze's success in America.

After a year in North Carolina, Lucy returned to the UK, transferring to Leeds Beckett University to continue her sports science degree. Under the guidance of Head Football Coach, Chris Welburn, Lucy represented the university in numerous BUCS competitions and helped the team win national trophies. Welburn provided Lucy with the environment she needed to develop as a player and a person and was always impressed with her drive and determination to succeed.

When Bronze returned to play for Sunderland, her introduction to Mick Mulhern saw them team up to lead Sunderland Ladies’ rise to the Women’s Super League. Mulhern recognised immediately Bronze’s unique talent, playing her as a midfielder to help her influence the game more directly.

In 2010, Maureen 'Mo' Marley, Bronze's former England youth coach, extended an Everton squad spot. Despite recovering from an injury, Marley's unwavering support in Merseyside aided Bronze's comeback, fostering the physical and mental resilience crucial for her ascent to elite levels.

In 2012, Bronze switched from blue to red, joining local rivals Liverpool under coach Matt Beard. Under Beard's guidance, Liverpool became England's first full-time women's club in 2013, attracting top-tier players like Bronze. Starting every game in 2014, she won the PFA Women's Players' Player of the Year.

Bronze made her debut for the England senior team on 26 June 2013. In 2018 she linked up with Phil Neville. Neville made Bronze captain for the opening match of the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, where she would go on to captain the England team again several times. Constantly pushing Bronze to show her quality, Neville likened her adaptability to that of German legend Philip Lahm.

In 2021, Lucy Bronze crossed paths with the renowned Sarina Wiegman. Under Wiegman's guidance, Bronze's impact on the team was undeniable, particularly in her role as a standout right-back during their triumphant 2022 European Championships campaign. Thanks to Wiegman's mentorship, Bronze's career soared to new heights, and England came tantalisingly close to achieving the coveted treble, culminating in their journey to the World Cup Final this past summer.

Awards in Support of Coaches

The following categories were awarded in support of coaches:

Supported by Blacks Solicitors, 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.

ukc-onukc-off

Wasim Collins (Multi-sport) Winner

Wasim Collins provides engaging learning and content and holistic support to young people from deprived or challenging backgrounds or who face limited opportunities.

A role model for young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds, he has supported apprentices who have experienced homelessness, been in foster care, left prison, experienced discrimination, and needed mental health support.

Taking the time to understand each apprentice and the environment/community that they work in, Wasim takes a personalised approach, adapting his delivery to fit the needs of each individual, instilling self-confidence and assurance. Over 77% of his first cohort experienced positive exit routes from their apprenticeships.

As well as fostering connections and seeking feedback, he also encourages apprentices to give feedback to each other, establishing close-knit social learning communities.

Lesley McKenna (Multi-sport)

Lesley McKenna is a creative and collaborative coach developer who has supported Scottish coaches in boccia, gymnastics, netball, swimming, climbing, sailing, and snowsports.

She deploys strong relational skills and a deep desire to understand people to develop authentic connections, creating an environment where coaches feel empowered and motivated to improve, and in which constructive feedback is regularly given and sought.

Over the last 12 months, Lesley has worked with female performance coaches as well as a cohort of disabled coaches, providing invaluable support during their transition from performance boccia players into performance coaches.

She is also completing a PhD at Leeds Beckett University in which she is exploring how to improve the well-being of everyone involved in the Scottish and UK sporting systems.

Richard Barbour (Snowsports)

Senior Tutor at Snowsport England Richard Barbour is an experienced and innovative coach developer.

Richard prioritises good rapport with the coaches that he supports, the key to understanding their individual motivations and goals and subsequently to guiding the creation of individual development plans and goal setting, supported by mentoring and preparation for assessment.

He also encourages coaches to explore new approaches, supported by routine live and reflective feedback.

Richard has supported a coach to re-engage with higher-level coach education and has worked with a tutor to help them profile their development needs, providing learning opportunities to address them.

Recently, he delivered an interactive workshop at a UK Snowsports Conference in which he introduced theory and practical application alongside a podcast, inclusive workshop, and skiing time.

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

British Canoeing Coaching (Paddlesport) Winner

With a growing audience of 18,000, the British Canoeing Coaching Podcast serves as a crucial resource for instructors, coaches, and leaders, imparting valuable insights to guide and enhance sessions.

The podcast explores a wide array of coaching topics, featuring expert guests, and releasing new episodes monthly. With an extensive backlog of 82 episodes, it delves into subjects including coaching philosophy, safety, and more, benefiting not just coaches but also athletes and parents.

This podcast has garnered endorsements from national associations and provides transcripts for enhanced accessibility.

Listener feedback plays a pivotal role in shaping future content, with episodes addressing diverse topics like neurodiversity and offshore wind research receiving overwhelming positive responses.

Coachcast, by England Football Learning (Football)

Founded two years ago, Coachcast aims to educate and support coaches in football and beyond. It offers free expert insights, breaking down barriers to access knowledge.

The brainchild of England Football Learning – a part of The Football Association – the podcast focuses on coaching principles like player understanding, empowerment, effective session planning, and organisation. Coachcast promotes a positive, all-inclusive environment to help football coaches and players to improve their skill levels.

Creating the right environment, building connections with players, and working with parents are just some of the topics covered. Coachcast invites game-wide representation and promotes the discussion of relatable and important topics such as grassroots football; the professional game; male, female, youth, and adult participation; futsal; diversity and inclusion; disability; and safeguarding.

Tom Talks Junior Cricket Coaching (Cricket)

The inspiration for Tom’s Junior Cricket Coaching podcast came from the success of his women and girls' cricket-focused podcast, born during lockdown.

With over 30 episodes, "Tom Talks Junior Cricket" invites guests to share their insights, values, and anecdotes related to coaching young cricketers. The podcast boasts a diverse audience, including listeners from the ECB physical disability cricket community, the LGBTQ+ community, and a global reach extending to Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Europe.

An upcoming episode features a prominent figure from the UK deaf cricketing community.

The podcast resonates with both children and adults, as parents and children tune in together to enjoy the content.

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

Community Boxing Apprenticeship Programme (Boxing) Winner

Espousing a people-led approach, the England Boxing Community Apprenticeship programme was launched to create a legacy of opportunity for all.

Offering apprenticeships to young people aged 18-25 from underrepresented groups (specifically, lower socio-economic groups and ethnically diverse communities), the programme supports their development, empowering them to deliver great sessions, become role models and ambassadors and develop invaluable transferable skills.

Their sessions build confidence and encourage connection, bringing people together from all walks of life.

They work with the charity Sense to support people who are deaf, blind, or have complex disabilities to participate, while female-only sessions, and those run in alternative education centres for children and young adults, enable people from different communities to enjoy participating and achieving their goals.

Typhoons RUFC (Rugby)

Lancashire’s first gay and inclusive rugby union club, Typhoons RUFC has broadened its remit and grown exponentially from just 6 people in 2018 to 80+ regular participants diverse in age, ability, gender, race and socio-economic status.

The club has created a welcoming environment that prioritises welfare and provides holistic support, empowering people to take part and improve their health and well-being, build their confidence and experience skill development, as well as offering help with employment and volunteer opportunities and with avoiding homelessness.

Endeavouring to build bridges between communities, the club delivers talks on inclusion, and has launched the ‘Lancashire Gets Better Together’ partnership, which brings together employers and LGBT groups to coordinate support and visibility in the local area.

iCan Wellbeing Group (Fitness)

iCan Wellbeing Group offers person-centred, 1:1 support to people who feel uncomfortable with or who face barriers to going to a traditional gym, helping to encourage achievable participation and pave the way for people to build healthy habits relevant to their journey and goals.

By encouraging people to volunteer to lead sessions and decide on workout themes, iCan recognises the importance of choice in promoting long-term participation, fostering a sense of community that boosts motivation and encourages social connections.

iCan’s women-only sessions give women who have experienced domestic abuse and women who can’t attend mixed sessions for religious reasons to take part, while sessions for men provide a valuable space for socialisation and to talk candidly about topics such as mental health.

Reflecting on the award ceremony, UK Coaching’s CEO Mark Gannon said:

This evening has been truly extraordinary, a celebration that goes beyond recognising exceptional coaching. Coaches are the unsung heroes, pivotal in upholding the health and well-being of our nation, and it’s truly inspiring to not just acknowledge but honour their impactful contributions at this year's UK Coaching Awards.

"The talent, drive, and passion exhibited by not only our winners but all the finalists and nominees are awe-inspiring. Each of them should take immense pride in their remarkable achievements."

Great Coaching Moment 2023

Your Voice. Your Moment. Your Vote.

Every iconic sporting moment is shaped by a coach's vision and relentless dedication. The Great Coaching Moment Award highlights these architects who set the stage for monumental achievements. They fuel passion, inspire athletes, and forge unity. Their guidance makes these golden moments possible. This award salutes coaches who create enduring memories, from legendary comebacks to pulse-pounding drama.

Following a close public vote the winner was announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 5 December as Tom Coyd MBE, who masterminded England’s last-gasp victory over France in the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final.

You can learn more about Tom’s Great Coaching Moment and the other finalists below.

3rd (19%)

 

A fraction of a second can make a lifetime of difference. Just ask Katarina Johnson-Thompson. KJT herself said before the championships in Budapest: “I had committed to getting my heart broken again,” such was her perennial bad luck with career-threatening injuries, including a ruptured left Achilles tendon and a torn right calf muscle.

It helped that this was the longest run she can remember with no injury leading into a major championship. But the real game-changer was her decision to team up with new coach Aston Moore – last year’s UK Coaching Awards Lifetime Achievement winner.

Gold medals are won by inches, not miles. And so it proved when KJT – needing to finish within three seconds of favourite Anna Hall in the final event, the 800 metres – crossed the line in a new personal best, just 1.54 seconds behind the American. Unbridled joy for an athlete unsaddled of the expectation that had previously accompanied her whenever she competed on the big stage.

Aston’s succinct verdict: “The greatest comeback I’ve coached.”

4th (10%)

 

The Ashes series of 2023 was a thrilling roller coaster ride that had fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish. It was also a showcase of the innovative and daring style of cricket that England Test coach Brendon McCullum has instilled in his team. Dubbed “Bazball” by the media, McCullum’s approach combines aggressive stroke play, fast scoring, and fearless tactics to put pressure on the opposition and create exciting results – breathing new life into Test cricket. 

It was a series that gave us everything… except a winner. Under the dynamic leadership of McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, England bounced back from 2-0 down to draw the series. But for a rain-lashed climax to the Old Trafford Test, they would surely have recorded their first Ashes series triumph since 2015. In any case, they won the hearts and minds, not just of cricket lovers, but all sports enthusiasts. 

McCullum’s coaching moment of the year was not just a single event, but a whole series of brilliant decisions that transformed England into a formidable force in Test cricket. ‘Bazball’ is not just a “silly term” as McCullum himself called it, it’s a revolution.

2nd (34%)

 

Heartbreaking defeat in the World Cup final but another massive win for women’s sport. 

The nation was on the edge of their seats as Sarina Wiegman and her fierce pride of Lionesses roared their way to the final, overcoming obstacles aplenty and treating fans to a rollercoaster of emotions. The loss of key players through injury before the tournament, a red card to break-out star Lauren James, surviving a dramatic penalty shoot-out, and then the thrilling 3-1 semi-final victory against an Australia side vociferously cheered on by an impassioned home support – a match that will live long in the memory.

Under the expert tutelage and compassionate leadership of serial achiever Wiegman, England are now the Euro 2022 champions and World Cup runners-up. But much more than that, they have struck a powerful blow for equality, paving the way for future generations of female athletes to pursue their dreams without limitations. 

No longer is football thought of as being ‘just for boys’. Wiegman has played an instrumental role in helping change cultural attitudes towards female sport. With Wiegman at the helm, the Lionesses haven’t just succeeded in breaking the glass ceiling, they have also shattered the grass ceiling.

1st (37%)

 

Historically wheelchair rugby league has attracted little to no media attention. Then in the November 2022 it signalled its arrival on the sporting stage with the biggest of bangs. The World Cup received unprecedented coverage on BBC, with the final attracting an audience of 1.2 million.

This most inclusive of sports had finally been given its moment in the spotlight, and it shone like a diamond, conquering viewers’ hearts, who were gripped by the skill and physicality involved and the thrill-a-second spectacle of a sport just as entertaining as the running game.

An overnight success story in so many ways but as Coyd, the young architect of England’s success, reminds us: “all the best work is done in the shadows”. From humble origins – the first game of wheelchair rugby league in England was played in a car park in 2003 – to the historic night in Manchester in front of a record 4,526 fans, when captain Tom Halliwell sealed a dramatic 28-24 win with a try three minutes from time.

As the television cameras captured the jubilant faces of the players, they also zoomed in on a small ball on the floor that was weeping with emotion. It was a moment of rapture, mixed with relief, crowned by achievement after years of relentless hard work and passion.

*Qualifying period for the Great Coaching Moment of the Year: 1 November 2022 – 20 November 23.  

UK Coaching Awards 2023 Sponsors:

ukc-onukc-off

ukc-onukc-off

Follow Awards on Social

Couldn't join us in person on 5th December?

Relive the celebration of the 2023 #UKCoachingAwards on our social channels.

ukc-onukc-off

Stay Connected. Join the Club.

ukc-onukc-off

Join UK Coaching Club for the latest #GreatCoaching news, tips and offers delivered straight to your inbox, access to our Duty to Care digital badge and much more!