21 November 2012
Two UK Athletics coaches were honoured at the 2012 UK Coaching Awards, which were organised by Sports Coach UK and hosted at the Lancaster Hotel in London last night. Toni Minichiello, coach to Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis, was named as 2012 UK Coach of the Year while he and Peter Eriksson also received High Performance Coach of the Year awards.
Minichiello coached Ennis to a memorable gold medal in the heptathlon at the London Olympic Games where she set a new British record of 6,955 points and ran the fastest ever 100m hurdles in a heptathlon. Earlier in the year Ennis had set a British indoor pentathlon record en route to winning a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March and increased the previous British heptathlon record to 6,906 in Austria in May.
Minichiello, who received his award from HRH the Princess Royal, said: “I view it more as a team award; it’s the team around Jess that have put in all the effort. It’s nice to be the front person of that team but there’s a lot of people, Alison Rose, Derry Suter, Pete Lindsay, Paul Brice and Steve Ingham to name a few, that have put all the effort in. So for us to get recognised from this point of view is really good.”
Eriksson, UKA’s new Olympic Head Coach, led Great Britain’s Paralympic athletics team to third place in the medal table in London. He was coach to Hannah Cockroft, who set two Paralympic records on the way to winning double gold in the T34 100m and 200m in London, and Shelly Woods, who took victory in the London Marathon in April and a silver medal in the T54 marathon at the Paralympics.
Eriksson said: “It was fantastic. It was a very enjoyable evening and it was a great honour to be recognised as one of the athletics coaches, I think it was fantastic.”
Kevin Tyler, UKA’s Head of Coaching and Development, believes that these awards are deserved recognition for the success that both coaches enjoyed during 2012.
“I think it was brilliant that Toni won UK Coach of the Year for 2012, particularly against such strong competition. I think he was quite flattered and it’s a real honour for him to be acknowledged for the work that he’s done with Jessica. It’s quite special given the fact that he’s worked with her since she was 11 years of age and taken her all the way through to have such amazing success as a senior. He should be proud of what he’s achieved.
“Peter also did an awesome job, again against very tough opposition. The fact that he was able to provide such strong leadership to the Paralympic team and also coach Hannah Cockroft to the level that he did really shows his abilities. It’s a really tremendous honour to win the award as it’s very difficult to serve in a leadership and coaching role at the same time and he did that extremely well so it’s a well deserved honour.”
Richard Wheater, Head of Coaching at England Athletics, also recognises the success of both coaches over the course of their career as well as during 2012.
“Both awards are amazing achievements. From Toni’s perspective to coach an athlete from when she was very young all the way through to Olympic gold is something that doesn’t happen very often. It is great testament to Toni’s abilities and his contribution that he won the 2012 Coach of the Year Award, we shouldn’t forget the stress and pressures that are placed on the coach as well as the athlete.
“Peter is one of the most successful Paralympic coaches of all time and he has done it again. He’s a very high performing coach who has continued to deliver at the very highest level, so this award is very warmly deserved. Having won National Governing Body of the Year last year, it’s great to see athletics very well represented at these awards in terms of both nominations and the awards won on the night.”
Coaches of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gold
medallists were recognised when they were inducted into the Coaching Hall of
The coaches were awarded medals by Minister for Sport and
Tourism Hugh Robertson at the UK Coaching Awards 2012 that took place at the Lancaster London. The athletics coaches that were honoured were:
Speaking at the presentations the Minister said: "Congratulations to all those
coaches who helped deliver victory for our British athletes at the London 2012
Games. It is entirely fitting that we should recognise their efforts and
achievements by enrolling them into the Coaching Hall of Fame."