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Nomination Guidance & Judging Information

All the information you need to make the most of your nomination.

The UK Coaching Awards is a unique opportunity for us to honour and reward the work of #GreatCoaching at all levels across sport and activity in the UK.

Nominating for An Award? Please Read This First

Success at the UK Coaching Awards depends on two factors: the quality of the coach*, project or organisation you are nominating and the quality of the nomination itself. 

Nominations need to be submitted via our dedicated awards platform, which will guide you through several questions aligned to our Great Coaching People Principles.

Each award category has specific criteria that you will need to answer questions against to complete your nomination, but please read this general advice first:

  • Check the criteria to ensure you are making a nomination in the correct category.
  • Read the general criteria, which is applicable to all awards, and the 'what we are looking for' bullet points below with information specific to each award category.
  • The UK Coaching Awards recognises the impact of the coach, organisation or programme on UK participants/athletes only.
  • The judging panel can only use the details you provide in the nomination form.
  • Nominees can only be judged in the category they have been nominated in.
  • If a nominee meets the criteria for multiple awards and you wish to nominate them for more than one award, please complete the relevant nomination forms.

Check out these top five tips on making a great nomination from Zahra, one of last year’s judges:

  1. Be specific! Carefully, review the criteria for the award and each question and make sure to cover all the points. You will find each question has a word count – make it count.
  2. Use tangible stats, examples, and case studies to bring the nomination to life and show the 'how' behind your adjectives.
  3. Ask for short testimonials from those connected to your nominee. If you are nominating a coach - ask a player, colleague, or parent for a short quote to include.
  4. Ask the person you are nominating for some history of their experience and qualifications - it is incredible how much you can learn about them that can add value to your nomination.
  5. Start early, review what is needed, collect supporting pieces, and do not miss the deadline. The nominee may be asked to submit responses by a deadline too.

If you require any support with completing the online form, please email [email protected] and a member of the team will be happy to help.

* We use the broad definition of coaching and welcome nominations on behalf of coaches, instructors, leaders, teachers, trainers and others who support people to achieve their sport and activity goals. All nomination information is treated as confidential until shortlists and winners are announced by UK Coaching.

See examples of completed forms to help you plan your nomination:

NB The period for nominations is September 2020 – September 2021. We encourage people to submit nominations for all the great coaching work that has taken place in spite of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Nomination Criteria

All nominations will need to demonstrate how nominees meet the following criteria:

  • connect with and understand people as individuals
  • inclusive in their practice and put welfare, safety and well-being first
  • help people develop a positive attitude towards sport and physical activity
  • committed to ongoing learning and development of themselves and others.

Community Coach of the Year - Children and Young People

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.

We are looking for a coach who:

  • coaches children and young people aged 25 and under
  • has had an impact on the health and well-being of the children and young people being coached.

NB Nominations for coaches working with young participants at county/regional/national level should be entered in the Talent Development Coach of the Year category, not the Children and Young People’s Coach of the Year.

Community Coach of the Year - Adults

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.

We are looking for a coach who:

  • works with participants over the age of 26
  • works within a specific community, particularly those who might find sport and physical activity harder to access
  • has had a positive impact on the community, such as community cohesion, social development or improved health and well-being.

Young Coach of the Year

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.

We are looking for:

  • an exceptional coach aged 25 years or under at the time of nomination.

Changing Lives Award

This award recognises a coach who is leading the way to empower and inspire people from diverse communities through #GreatCoaching.

Nominations are warmly welcomed from - but not exclusively - coaches from under-represented groups, eg women, lower socio-economic, disabled (including lifelong conditions), LGBTQ+ or  ethnically diverse communities.

We are looking for a coach who:

  • has been an inspiration in their community - this could be by encouraging more people from diverse communities to take part in sport or physical activity or empowering others to become a coach.

Talent Development Coach of the Year

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

We are looking for a coach who:

  • in the last 12 months has had success with a team or participant(s) at club, county, regional or national age-group level
  • helps and inspires participants to thrive in the talent environment and supports positive transitions in, through or out of the talent pathway. 

High Performance Coach of the Year

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.

We are looking for a coach who:

  • has coached to repeated success at senior national or international level
  • has created a high-performance environment for all involved
  • has successfully led a team of people to best meet the needs of their athlete(s).

Coach Developer of the Year

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.

We are looking for a coach developer who:

  • is a tutor, educator, coach developer or mentor
  • has a track record of providing excellent development opportunities and/or ongoing support of coaches.

NB The focus of this award is on a frontline tutor/educator, coach developer or mentor, rather than a governing body of sport staff member responsible for implementing coach education strategy in their sport.

Transforming Coaching Award

This award is for an organisation that is transforming coaching to enhance the development and well-being of people providing and receiving great coaching.

We are looking for an organisation that:

  • is transforming learning and development
  • uses insight and great ideas to enhance coach learning or practice, or to improve the experience or performance of participants or coaches
  • has at least one example of an idea/solution that has had an impact and is helping the organisation to transform coaching. 

Coaching for an Active Life Award

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

We are looking for a project, programme or intervention that:

  • has encouraged people from under-represented groups to take part, eg women, lower socio-economic, disability, LGBTQ+ or ethnically diverse communities
  • has developed people’s coaching skills and confidence within the community, and supported them in increasing opportunities for others
  • has engaged and had a positive impact on the local community (such as community cohesion, social development, increased activity levels or improved health and well-being).

Judging Procedure & Deadlines


Shortlisting will be managed by UK Coaching.

Shortlisting Group Member Role 

  • Read and assess all nominations in the given category against the stated criteria.
  • Propose the shortlists for consideration by the UK Judging Panel.

UK Judging Panel


To provide individual recommendations and collective decisions on winners and runners-up in each category. Three finalists will normally be identified. Just two finalists may be identified if, in the opinion of the judging panel, nominations lack the quality or volume to justify three finalists. No award shall be given in any category where, in the opinion of the judging panel, nominations lack the quality or volume to justify an award.

Role of Judging Panel Members

  • To read and assess all shortlisted nominations. 
  • To attend the UK Judging Panel meeting to discuss and vote using the agreed process. 
  • To abstain from voting in any category where they have a conflict of interest.
  • To maintain confidentiality on the outcome of the judging process. 

Role of the Chair of the UK Judging Panel

  • Chair the UK Judging Panel meeting, providing a fair and effective process for winners to be selected.
  • Give the casting vote in the case of a tie.

Nominations close at 10:00




Judging panel meeting


Finalists contacted

Ready to Nominate?

Access our dedicated awards platform by clicking the link below

You will need to create an account to get started, save your progress and submit your nomination