The winners of the 2015 Sport Northern Ireland Coaching Awards have been honoured for their outstanding contribution to local sport at a reception in Belfast.
The Awards were presented by Sport NI Chair Brian Henning together with Interim Chief Executive Arthur Scott, members of the Sport NI Board, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Cynthia Smith, and representatives from Sports Coach UK and Coaching Ireland.
Coaches and coaching projects at all sporting levels were recognised at the event in terms of their impact and contribution to sport over the last 12 months. The winners were joined by the members of the public who had nominated them in each of the nine award categories.
Speaking at the awards reception at Malone Lodge, Belfast, Sport NI Chair Brian Henning said:
“Sport Northern Ireland is committed to a vision of Northern Ireland as a place where people enjoy, engage and excel in sport, and coaches play a crucial role in making this happen. From grassroots to high performance, coaching is essential for developing the enthusiasm and enjoyment driving participation and success at the highest levels. I am delighted to see the dedication, talent and success of coaches recognised through the Sport NI Coaching Awards. Tonight’s recipients are evidence of the excellent standard of coaching that exists in Northern Ireland across a diverse range of sports and at all stages of the sporting pathway. I would like to congratulate all the winners on their awards and wish them every success as they continue to play a key role in the development of local sport”.
Paying tribute to the Coaching Awards winners, Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín commented:
“My wholehearted congratulations go to all the winners of these prestigious awards. Coaches play a central role in encouraging and inspiring people to take part in, and enjoy, sport. I am delighted to see coaches from right across the sporting spectrum being recognised – from those who coach children and people with disabilities, to those who work with our elite athletes and help them secure medals and titles on the international stage. I am also heartened at the range of sports represented – from martial arts to soccer, gymnastics to boxing. Well done to all!”
The winners of the Sport NI Coaching Awards have gone forward for consideration for the 2015 UK Coaching Awards, hosted by Sports Coach UK, which will take place in Manchester in December.
2015 Sport NI Sports Awards Recipients
Children’s Coach of the Year: Peter Stewart (Lisburn Taekwondo Club)
Community Coach of the Year: Jonathan Cooke (Kookateki Judo Club)
Young Coach of the Year: Luke Carson (Rathgael Gymnastics and Tumbling Club)
Disability Coach of the Year: Brian Babb (Belfast Deaf United Football Club)
Female Coach of the Year: Breda Dick (Phoenix Basketball Club and Ulster Rockets Head Coach)
Talent Development Coach of the Year: Andrew Stewart (Ulster Badminton Emerging Performance Squad Coach)
Club Performance Coach of the Year: Paul Green (Konarakai Judo Club)
High Performance Coach of the Year: John Conlan (Irish Amateur Boxing Association – Ulster High Performance Coach)
Coaching Project of the Year: Ulster Sports Outreach (Ulster University)