5th September 2018


The UK Coaching Awards are coming up on 29 November with nominations for these prestigious awards now open until 21 September 2018.

We reflect on a few great coaching stories courtesy of three athletes who were steered to gold at the recent World Para Athletics European Championships to whet your appetite, and get you thinking about a coach – at any level – who is making a difference and deserves to be recognised at the awards.

F46 Javelin Grand Slam champion Hollie Arnold added the European crown to her collection of two world, one Paralympic and one Commonwealth titles last month.

She paid special tribute to her coach, Dave Turner, who guided her to this triumph.

“A massive thanks to my coach Dave [Turner]; he has been an absolute legend, supporting me through my ups and downs and before this competition we were like ‘we’re not ready’ but today just proves that it is still there, and I am really excited for the next upcoming events.

“He [Dave] is fantastic, we are a perfect match for coach and athlete, he just gets me and supports me. He has really helped me side-by-side and I probably wouldn’t be here winning this gold medal if it wasn’t for him so a massive thanks to him. We have got bigger things to fry and I am really excited for the next few months ahead.”

Another field eventer who was triumphant in Berlin was Vanessa Wallace and she looked to her coach, Alison O’Riordan, who guided her not only to a European title, but to a different way of life.

“My coach [Alison O’Riordan] has been amazing coach. She has been everything that a coach is supposed to be. A support network, encouraging, putting you in and out of your comfort zone and more importantly giving you trust in yourself. Your coach will do as much as they can, but you have got to pick that up and run or throw or jump with it. She has changed my life.”

Inspired to take up the sport in 2012 after watching the Paralympic Games, Kare Adenegan went to her local club in Coventry, and has been guided by coach Job King ever since. The 17-year-old thanked her coach and her parents for their sacrifices over the last few years which led up to her European success.

“I told myself on the line, this is for mum, this is for dad, this is for Job [King, coach]. They have sacrificed so much time and I am so thankful for them. It has been a long journey and so pleased that I can finally do it.”

F51 Club Throw Paralympic champion & European silver medallist in Berlin, also commented on her coaching set-up, and how much of a support network they have been during her recent injuries.

“I have a unique set-up with two lead coaches. Shona Malcolm who coaches me on a day-today basis and Phil Peat who overlooks the programme from afar but is crucial in terms of his experience and knowledge, and he leads me through the major competitions. Together they are so complementary of one another which is why I works for me, not just from a location point of view but also in terms of their personalities.

“They give me the skills and confidence to allow me to do what I am able to do. They are two very selfless people who put me first and my sport first which is something you can’t put a price on. I definitely wouldn’t be the athlete I am without them two.”

Recognise a great coach today and nominate them at https://www.ukcoaching.org/about/our-awards. Information about the categories can be found via this link. Nominations close on 21 September 2018.