Lisburn Taekwondo Club coach Peter Stewart has been announced as the winner of the Children’s Coach of the Year prize at Sport NI’s 2018 SportMaker Awards.

Peter is chief instructor at Lisburn Taekwondo Club and was recognised for his continued work to develop the club and engage children from as young as six in the sport. In the last twelve months the Lisburn club, which currently has a membership of 118, has participated in a range of competitive events, amassing 117 medals including 48 golds.

During the year, Peter has also collaborated with British Taekwondo on the KicksisterProgramme, which focuses on getting young girls active and involved in taekwondo. Through this initiative, Peter helped deliver a 12-week schedule of activity in two local schools, St Patricks High School and Lisnagarvey High School, giving female students an opportunity to experience a sport they may not otherwise have attempted.

Sport NI’s SportMaker Awards recognise the contribution of the local sporting working – the coaches, officials, volunteers and projects making a difference in helping people here enjoy, engage and excel in sport. The Children’s Coach of the Year award recognises the outstanding contribution of a children’s coach to the development of young people’s skills, understanding, enjoyment and lifestyle through sport.

The Award was presented to Peter by Alan Curran, Performance Systems Manager at Sport Northern Ireland.

Julie McBride from Lisburn Taekwondo, who nominated Peter for his award, said:

As chief instructor, Peter has engaged all of his students with fun classes that are designed to encourage fitness, but also instil discipline and respect. His commitment is infinite and he devotes a huge amount of his spare time to developing and nurturing the young people within the club. He is also committed to his own continued development as a coach, regularly attending training seminars both locally and nationally, and has been invited to train as part of the GB squad. His passion for the sport in infectious and he is an inspiration to the children, club and the wider community.”

Congratulating Peter on his award, Sport NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown added:

“Engaging and inspiring coaching is at the absolute heart of making sport happen day in, day out across Northern Ireland. All too often, the vital work of coaches and other members of the sporting workforce goes unnoticed. Through the SportMaker Awards, Sport NI is shining a light on these people and projects, and we are delighted to be reognising outstanding coaches like Peter.

“The passion and dedication Peter brings to his sport is proof of why the workforce operating in local sports clubs play such a vital role in getting young people involved in sport, and keeping them active through the structured environment sports clubs offer. On behalf of Sport NI I would like to commend Peter for his fantastic work, and wish him and Lisburn Taekwondo Club continued sporting success for the future.”