A Lisburn-based gymnastics coach has been named Young Coach of the Year at the 2018 Sport Northern Ireland SportMaker Awards.

Emma Gorman, a women’s artistic gymnastics coach at City of Lisburn Salto Gymnastics Club, was recognised for her achievement in developing the club’s young gymnasts, as well as her personal commitment to her own coach development.

A former international gymnast herself, Emma retired from competition in 2014 and has since focused on her coaching career. She coached all four of the Team NI gymnasts who qualified for the 2017 British Gymnastics NDP finals where they finished fourth overall out of 13 teams. More recently, four of Emma’s athletes qualified for last week’s national British Gymnastics Challenge Cup in Surrey, with great results including a 5th place finish on Beam and 10th place finish overall for Emily Moorehead.

In  recognition of her impact and potential as a coach, Emma was one of a select number of National coaches chosen to attend the 2017 Northern European Championships in the Faroe Islands, and was also selected as one of only two coaches from the island of Ireland to attend the prestigious Union of European Gymnastics training camp in Italy in July 2017.

Sport NI’s SportMaker Awards recognise the contribution of the local sporting workforce – the coaches, officials, volunteers and projects making a difference. The Young Coach of the Year award recognises up and coming coaches who have demonstrated creativity and determination in their development as a coach, and who have shown dedication in helping others achieve their sporting goals.

Emma, who was also named Young Coach of the Year by British Gymnastics NI earlier this year, was presented with her award during a team training session on Monday (12th November) by Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas. Congratulating Emma on her success, he said:

“Every day, SportMakers like Emma are dedicating their time, talents and energy into helping our young people develop a talent and love of sport. Local clubs across Northern Ireland are playing a vital role in giving communities the structures and opportunities to enjoy, engage and excel in sport, and experience all the social, personal and health benefits that come with an active lifestyle. It is wonderful to see a former athlete like Emma channelling her knowledge and experience to help new generations of potential sports stars pursue and accomplish their sporting ambitions. On behalf of Sport Northern Ireland, I would like to congratulate Emma on her richly deserved award.”

Reacting to her win, Emma Gorman said:

“You don’t expect to win any award because my reward is coaching the kids, so getting an award to show what you’ve done and what you’re achieving is nice to have. I’ve been with the sport and a part of Salto since I was five, so going from a gymnast to a coach was always a nice pathway to go to. I’ve been working with my group for around four years now and coaching them is so rewarding, seeing their achievements and how hard they work every day. I just love coaching - it’s my passion.”

Mandy McMaster, Chief Executive City of Lisburn Salto Gymnastics Club, who nominated Emma for her award, added:

“Since embarking on a coaching career Emma, has grown from strength to strength and her hard work ethic and passion for gymnastics together with her determination has brought her to the level she is at currently. At the young age of 24 Emma has had a remarkable last 24 months, and Salto’s women’s artistic gymnasts have developed rapidly under her supervision and quality coaching.”

Pictured above: Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas presents City of Lisburn Salto’s Emma Gorman with the 2018 Young Coach of the Year Award. Also pictured are Mandy McMaster, Chief Executive City of Lisburn Salto and Holly  Holly Mason, Participation Coordinator at British Gymnastics.