12 prizes were awarded at the prestigious annual celebration of Great Coaching – the UK Coaching Awards, which was this year held at The Tower Hotel, London.
The awards honour #GreatCoaching from people and organisations and demonstrates the role coaching plays in transforming lives and inspiring an active nation.
In a year in which Liverpool FC won a sixth UEFA Champions League and mounted two serious challenges for the Premier League title, Jürgen Klopp’s outstanding coaching in guiding his side to a stunning semi-final comeback win over Barcelona has seen him come out on top in a public vote to claim the Great Coaching Moment of the Year award. The Liverpool FC faithful voted in their droves for the moment when Klopp belted out the iconic ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in harmony with the Kop, bringing the community of supporters together with the players and lifting the whole club.
The Liverpool Head Coach said:
“It is a huge honour to be recognised by UK Coaching for this award and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for us, especially our fans who played their part in what was an incredible performance and unforgettable night at Anfield back in May.
When you are a coach there is nothing more rewarding and powerful than seeing what can be achieved when everyone –the players, the coaching team and the fans – pull together. It was one of the proudest night’s of my coaching career.”
From a shortlist selected by the Sports Journalists’ Association, Klopp saw off competition from England coach Gareth Southgate OBE, world champion Dina Asher-Smith’s athletics coach John Blackie and Mel Marshall, the swimming coach of Olympic champion Adam Peaty.
Despite missing out on that prize, Marshall was not to leave empty handed, picking up the High Performance Coach of the Year – supported by UK Sport award. Her long-time relationship with Peaty, which goes back to when the breaststroke specialist was 12, has seen the swimmer break world records and win multiple Olympic, world, Commonwealth and European titles.
In 2019, Marshall coached Peaty to become the first man to swim the 100m breaststroke in under 57 seconds at the World Championships – a title he ultimately won along with two other disciplines. Marshall was part of the Great Britain coaching team in South Korea and also supports the next generation of coaches through the England Talent Coaching Programmes.
“It’s a real privilege to win on a really nice evening and especially to hear some of the stories in the room today. It’s great to celebrate other people’s successes. As a coach, I love seeing people flourish and I’ve always wanted to be that person that can help somebody to realise their dreams.”
Judy Murray OBE picked up her Lifetime Achievement Award, having previously been announced as the recipient to recognise a 30-year tennis coaching career.
The founder of ‘Miss-Hits’; the Judy Murray Foundation, a global ambassador for women’s tennis – and of course, the person behind the success of Andy and Jamie Murray, said:
“To win this award is such a massive thing for me. What I’ve always tried to do is learn how to be the best coach that I can be and to help my players become the best players that they can become.”
A number of coaches behind the successes of England World Cup winning cricketer Ben Stokes and Olympic sailing champion Hannah Mills MBE were also at the UK Coaching Awards to pick up The Coaching Chain award, which celebrates the great contributions a number of coaches have made through the respective athletes’ journey to the top of their sport.
Jon Gibson, who coached Ben Stokes as a young cricketer said:
“I feel very humbled to receive this award, because all of us that coach at the grassroots level, we do it to try and improve the understanding of the game and the enjoyment of the game of all the youngsters that we coach.
“I just happened to coach a 12-year-old who turned into Ben Stokes, and for him to become the international star that he is now with a lot of hard work from himself, and his coaches along the way, it’s very, very humbling to be recognised.”
Among the other award winners was London’s Ben Lampert, the UK’s only full-time deaf football coach, who took home the Changing Lives Award – supported by Sport England. Ben’s Deaf Sports Plus project with Brentford FC [Community Sports Trust] breaks down barriers by providing free sporting activities to deaf children.
“Coaching is such a big difference to playing. You need a whole host of different skills to coach. We’ve been running the deaf football scheme at Brentford (Community Sports Trust) for 10 years and at first we struggled but you come to realise that sport is the same whoever takes part in it.”
On a good night for swimming, Scotland’s Danielle Brayson was awarded with the Talent Development Coach of the Year – supported by UK PCA award for her work with 25 up and coming teenage swimmers at the City of Glasgow Swim Team.
Among the swimmers to have profited from Brayson’s expert skills is para-swimmer Louis Lawler, who won bronze at this year’s World Para Swimming Championships.
“So many great coaches have won awards like this before, so I feel really privileged to win something like this and be alongside them. I’m lucky enough to have worked with and coached so many great kids. Working with them and working with great people is what keeps me motivated and keeps me coaching.”
The full winners on the night were:
Awards for Coaches:
Children and Young People’s Coach of the Year – supported by sportscotland
Sasha Moore (multi-sport, Stockport)
Community Coach of the Year – supported by Spond
Andrew Beech (multi-sport, London)
Changing Lives Award – supported by Sport England
Ben Lampert (football, London)
Talent Development Coach of the Year – supported by UK PCA
Danielle Brayson (swimming, Glasgow)
High Performance Coach of the Year – supported by UK Sport
Mel Marshall (swimming, Derby/Loughborough)
Young Coach of the Year – supported by Sport Wales
James Galt (football/futsal, Lancashire)
Coaching Moment of the Year – supported by Sports Journalists’ Association
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool FC – 4-0 win over Barcelona in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League semi-final
Lifetime Achievement Award
Judy Murray OBE (tennis)
The Coaching Chain
Ben Stokes (cricket) – Jon Gibson, John Windows, Geoff Cook, Andy Flower and Trevor Bayliss
Hannah Mills (sailing) – Anne Barrett, Ollie Green, Alan Williams and Joe Glanfield.
Awards in Support of Coaches:
Coach Developer of the Year
Sue Ringrose (horse racing, Lincolnshire)
Transforming Coaching Award – supported by Believe Perform
Great Britain Hockey Coach Development Offer
Coaching for an Active Life Award
The Bulldogs (boxing, Port Talbot)
UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching, Emma Atkins said:
“What a fantastic night. It has been such a privilege getting to meet so many inspirational coaches.
“The range of coaching talent in the UK is astonishing and the UK Coaching Awards offers us a chance to recognise the exceptional achievements of just a fraction.
“Whether it’s at community or world class level, Great Coaching is all about people – a great coach focuses on a participant’s character, their feelings and motivations to help them thrive. They create healthy and happy lives and in many cases, can even change the trajectory of someone’s life for the better.
“You cannot fail to be inspired by the finalists and winners at tonight’s Awards. Congratulations to all of them – and to the work of all coaches doing great work all over the UK”.