Sport Northern Ireland has announced the full list of winners for the 2016 Coaching Awards.
Nine winners were chosen by the judging panel following an excellent response from the public, who nominated coaching projects from an array of different sports and levels of participation.
2016 marks the third year of the Sport NI Coaching Awards, which celebrate outstanding coaches and coaching projects which have made a big impact over the last 12 months.
Congratulating the winners, Sport Northern Ireland Interim Chair Brian Delaney stated:
“The Sport Northern Ireland Coaching Awards are designed to highlight the coaching talent that exists across Northern Ireland, and the great work local coaches are doing to help people enjoy, engage and excel in sport. This group of winners are shining examples of that.”
“From helping engage people with disabilities get involved in swimming to coaching Paralympic swimmers to gold medal success, the impact of local coaches is being made at all levels of sport. As well as that, the fact that our winners come from such a wide range of sports, such as tennis, rugby, gymnastics, hockey and judo, demonstrates the great diversity of coaching talent in Northern Ireland. On behalf of Sport NI, I would like to congratulate all of our deserving winners, and wish them continued success in their coaching careers.”
The winners of the 2016 Coaching Awards are listed below.
Ben Neal – Children’s Coach of the Year
Belfast Boat Club/Ulster Tennis
“Ben has made a hugely positive impact by reaching out to, and providing opportunities for, new and talented players under the age of 16 through his Club and through his role as Under 10 Lead coach in the Ulster Tennis Academy squads.”
Mark Montgomery – Community Coach of the Year
Hazama Judo Club
“Mark delivers judo in a way that attracts children, parents and coaches to his classes, making it fun and tailoring sessions to fit every participant, regardless of varying size, shape, special need, gender, and sporting ability, He believes that by putting the person first, the champion will follow.”
Charlie Farrell – Young Coach of the Year
Dungannon Rugby Club
“Charlie adopts an extremely professional approach to his coaching, showing extreme dedication and effort throughout the year to improve the teams he has worked with, other coaches and himself.”
Norma Munn – Reach: Supporting Women in Coaching Award
Ards Swimming Club
“Norma is a tireless volunteer in the running of the junior club at Ards and deserves recognition for this, always coaching with drive, passion and commitment. The time and commitment she has given to the sport over the last 15 years has never been recognised and yet the Club would not be where it is today without her.”
Hazel Coates – Disability Coach of the Year
City of Lisburn, Salto Gymnastics
“Hazel plays a major role in the development of children with disabilities within the club, throughout Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain. Hazel is extremely dedicated to her coaching and her service to disability gymnastics over the years has been invaluable.”
Nicola McKiverigan – Talent Development Coach of the Year
Banbridge Cycling Club/Cycling Ulster
“Nicola’s rise from complete novice to an Irish National Coach shows her dedication and pursuit of continuous learning and a constant desire to guide her young athletes to reach their potential.”
Erroll Lutton – Club Performance Coach of the Year
“Erroll’s coaching has taken his Lisnagarvey side to the top of the All Ireland ladder by winning the inaugural season of the EY Irish Hockey League and also winning the EY Champions Trophy, securing a place in next year’s Euro Hockey League in the process.”
Nelson Lindsay – High Performance Coach of the Year
Ards Swimming Club
“Nelson is an inspiration to all his swimmers. They admire him, listen to his every word and they know that with the right attitude, he will help them to reach their full potential. Nowhere more can we see this than in Bethany Firth, who only decided to take up swimming at the age of 13 and 7 years later, she has four Paralympic Gold medals and one Silver to her name.”
Straight2Swimming – Coaching Project of the Year
“This program has already demonstrated its ability to change young people’s lives forever. While it is primarily a swimming program, it has allowed young people who have become disconnected from all sport because of self-confidence issues a way back in to a club or group activity that allows them to overcome those issues.”