Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Welsh sports coach of the year shorlist announced

The Sports Council for Wales has today unveiled the 2009 Coach of the Year Awards shortlist for the six categories, as the countdown to the prestigious ceremony begins.

The winners will be announced at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff on Thursday, November 12, 2009 - one of whom will receive the coveted title of the Sports Council for Wales Coach of the Year.

The candidates are:


Sponsored by Total Teamwear


A school rowing coach of ten years, Jonathan currently coaches 40 rowers from Year 7 to Year 13.

He has also helped three talented rowers to progress to GB level, one of whom achieved two gold medals at the Junior World European Championships, whilst the other two achieved a gold medal in the Junior 16 Women's Pairs in a head-to-head with France.

Jonathan has coached Welsh Junior crews to five wins at the Home International Regatta during the past seven years.

He has been coaching in Wales for the past eight years and in that time has introduced upwards of 400 girls to the sport of rowing. Through his sheer enthusiasm for the sport, Jonathan has kept girls in rowing at the point where they usually start to drop out of sport.

For the past seven years Jonathan has coordinated the Welsh Junior Women's team and has forged links with clubs and coaches from all over the UK to bring together Welsh athletes to learn and train alongside each other.

He also represents the principality on the UK's National Junior Commission whose role it is to shape the future of junior rowing in the Home Nations.

In his spare time Jonathan travels from
Monmouth to Cardiff to help develop the Senior Men's programme at Cardiff University.


Former teacher Paul is Head Coach of the world beating Wales Sevens team who were crowned World Champions in the IRB World Cup Sevens this year.

He became the National Sevens coach in Oct 2008, having coached the 15 a-side game for the previous five years at Pontypridd RFC (two years as assistant coach and three years as head coach).

The Sevens National Coaching role is probably one of the hardest roles to perform as quite often your team is changed at the last moment.

Paul captained the national team on a tour to the USA and Canada and also coached
Pontypridd RFC to victory in the Konica Minolta cup in 2007 and two runners up spots in 2006 and 2008, as well as coaching Wales’s U18’s back in 2005.

John Schropfer, WRU National Coach Development Manager – who nominated Paul – had this to say: "Paul’s attributes make him an ideal role model for the young players aspiring to become professional players. His empowering style of coaching has seen his charges develop considerably this last year. He is the first Welsh rugby coach to say that he has won the World Cup for Sevens. This was an incredible achievement."


National Gymnastics Coach, Tracey, has been leading the Women's Artistic Academy Programme in Wales since its inception nearly five years ago and is producing some of the highest quality gymnasts in Great Britain.

She is currently the personal coach to six gymnasts on the world class performance pathway including; Lizzie Beddoe, Jessica Hogg, sisters Angel and Venus Romaeo, Kiera Brennan and Raer Theaker.

Tracey has also been instrumental in supporting and developing the additional Welsh gymnasts also on the GB pathway, namely Poppy Wynn, Emily White and Francesca Grout.

Among her many achievements has been to provide three members of the GB team to compete at the World Championships out of a team of six; leading Wales to their highest ever team placing at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games; and most recently leading Wales to a convincing win in the UK School Games in Cardiff in August - the first time Wales has ever won this event!

Andrew Morris, Technical director at Welsh Gymnastics – who nominated Tracy for this award – said: "I nominate Tracey for this award as I believe that not only is she producing the finest gymnasts in the country, she is consistently doing it and now in increasing numbers. She impacts on the lives of so many aspiring gymnasts and potential coaches that its time Wales recognise this enormous contribution to Welsh sport."



Roy is the Welsh Judo Association’s Liaison officer for Special Needs and has been involved with Welsh disability judo for more than 25 years.

He assisted the British Judo Association Inclusion Commission to form a grading system for Disabled Athletes.

Roy has taken teams from Wales and the UK to competitions in Germany, Finland, Sweden, Belgium and France.

In 2000 he organised the first European special needs judo event, in
Cardiff, with 12 countries participating with over 200 competitors.

Roy was instrumental, together with a Dutch coach, in setting up and delivering the Special Olympics Sports Rules for Judo.

He has designed and put together a Disability Awareness Course specifically for the sport of judo, delivered in Wales and many areas in England and Scotland. To this end he wrote a Judo Manual for Coaches, judoka, referees, officials and volunteers.

Over the past 10 years he has also mentored students from UWIC, who attend sessions for practical experience in working with special needs students, as part of their degree courses, including international students from around the world.


Over a considerable career, spanning over 40 years, Malcolm has been part of the coaching set up in UK Athletics for many years.

As a previous National Coach for Wales and UK Head Coach Malcolm has consistently coached athletes to European, World and Olympic level.

He has helped shape the careers of many high profile athletes, the most notable in Wales being Colin Jackson.

Malcolm continues to play a key role in the UK as a leading coach in his field and contributes greatly to the development of Great Britain's key Olympic hopefuls including Craig Pickering.

His career as an international coach started in 1968 as a Director of Coaching for Uganda - a post he held until 1972, culminating in John Akii-Bua winning the 400m hurdles at the 1972 Olympic Games in a world record time.

From 1974 – 1994, Malcolm was National Coach for Wales, coaching athletes of the calibre of Nigel Walker (Olympic Semi finalist and world record holder in the 110m Hurdles), Kay Morley Brown (Commonwealth gold medallist), Paul Gray (Commonwealth bronze medallist) and Colin Jackson (Olympic Silver medallist, World, European and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world record holder in the 110m hurdles).

From 1994-1997 Malcolm was British Athletics head coach and then performance director of UK Athletics. Based in Bath since 1997, he continues to coach athletes of the highest calibre such as Jason Gardner and Craig Pickering.

In the 2009 season he coached Lawrence Clarke to the European U20 Championships, breaking Colin Jackson’s British U20 record in the process.

Also this season, another of his protégés, David Greene, finished seventh in the World Athletics 400m Hurdles in Berlin breaking the Welsh record twice.

Having penned many books, articles and resources on coaching, his texts have helped athletics coaches for many years and represent a lasting legacy of his considerable knowledge and achievements.


Sponsored by sports coach UK


This judo guru is also an engineer by trade.

Having coached for 15 years, he this year helped Kate Chamberlain to lift the gold medal at the World Masters Championships. Meanwhile, Stan Cantrill picked up bronze and the team collected gold.

It was in 2006 that Phil decided to set up regular training sessions for judo players over 30 years old, The idea was to keep players in the sport and also to offer an environment for the over 30s to start judo with people their own age.

Now, more than 40 players regularly take to the mats – between the ages of 30–70!

Following Phil’s footsteps, the Irish, Scottish and English have also set up Masters sessions.

Phil has also been very successful in attracting the highest quality of guest coaches to these sessions with several World and Olympic medallists offering their time for free. The level of success these sessions have achieved in terms of medals and champions are plentiful, but Phil gains most satisfaction progressing novices to fully fledged Masters Judo players.

When the team is entered into this year’s British Masters Open there will be more than 40 entries from Wales - led by two World Champions. Yet, just three years ago there were only 10 people at the first session which demonstrates Phil's achievements.


Paul has been coaching for just four years but he is already Head Coach of the Welsh Junior Climbing Team, the Boulders Climbing Team in
Cardiff and the Boulders Climbing Academy.

Paul has taken teams to national competitions and has worked alongside GB Climbing Coaches to improve their strategies.

This year, he has worked with five young climbers who have all been invited to compete at national level competitions

Paul's ability to encourage, enthuse, coach and mentor has resulted in new recruits reaching competition level; his commitment and hard work has led to these youngsters successfully qualifying in regional rounds of a National Youth Climbing Series and reaching the Welsh final - some gained places in the British final in London. Considering the youngsters had been climbing for less than a year this was a tremendous achievement

His passion for sport and youth development led to him being appointed The British Mountaineering Council's (BMC) Youth Representative for South Wales.

Paul is the first person in Wales to establish a National Junior Climbing team. Acquiring a base for the team in Swansea, Paul has continued to grow the group of enthused youngsters and subsequently from his efforts a team member has been placed as a reserve on the British Youth Team.


John is the Head coach at Gresford Cricket Club and is also coach to the North East Wales Under 14s.

He has coached cricket for more than 25 years.

In 2009, John has helped cultivate four junior sides to become a force to reckoned with in the area.

A number of players from the U15s and U13s have been playing for Gresford’s senior second cricket team this season and have helped the team secure promotion from the fifth division to the fourth division.

John Bell has been an active member of the club for 40 years and has an extensive role at Gresford. In fact, not only does he coach but he also coordinates youth teams, plays in various leagues and is even the groundsman, club secretary, transport coordinator and first aid officer.

John's dedication to Gresford Cricket Club is second to none.

John’s passion for the sport has meant that what was a small youth section has grown to four youth teams and consists of around 120 players. When this group of boys first turned up at the cricket ground, most had no idea how to play cricket; they could not run between the wickets; had little idea how to hold a bat properly and could not catch the ball. With John's technical excellence, leadership in coaching and dedication he has turned this team into North Wales Champions.

Many players in 2009 have been selected for national and regional squads.


Sponsored by Mo Motors

TIM HAZELL (ARCHERY) Newbridge, Gwent

Tim has been coaching for 10 years and is the team coach of the GB Paralympic team as well as Wales’ able bodied team, development squads and the GB Talent Identification Programme.

He is also personal coach to Pippa Britton – Wales’ own Paralympian who hopes to compete alongside able bodied archers at the Commonwealth Games next year.

In 2009, Tim helped the GB Paralympic women’s compound team (which includes Pippa Britton – originally from Cowbridge, now based in Newport) win gold at the World Championships. The women also took two world records en route.

Meanwhile, Danielle Brown took gold in the Ladies compound individual event while team-mate Mel Clarke took silver and Pippa Britton finished in fourth place.

The men’s compound team stormed to silver and Fred Stevens also won bronze in the individual event.

In 2009, Tim has also travelled to Arizona with the ladies compound team to compete in the Arizona Cup – an important able bodied event in the archery calendar. The women’s team collected silver while the men’s compound team won bronze and the men’s recurve team completed the hat-trick with yet another bronze.

Under Tim’s wing, British archers have picked up six medals in archery’s Grand Prix circuit.

Tim has a first-class track record and in 2008, his team picked up the highest number of medals ever won by a Paralympic archery team at a Paralympic Games

Tim has been responsible for building a coaching structure within Paralympic archery. The current team is the most successful team ever in GB archery in all disciplines - able bodied and disabled - with two Paralympics champions, world record holders and world champions in both team and individual events.

Tim was the team manager for the Paralympics Archery team in Beijing as well as coach.

He has recently identified some talented juniors (including Wales’ own Jemma Morris, from Carmarthenshire) and under his influence she is rapidly improving her skills, putting in personal bests all the time. He has introduced a mentoring scheme and she is benefitting from this, having access to a member of the elite squad. His hope is that she will be in London 2012 and a medal prospect for 2016.


This former Paralympian has been a volunteer coach for 15 years.

Having competed for more than 40 years and at five Paralympic Games, he is now a coach to six players (including two Paralympians, Clare and Scott Robinson, from Deeside).

He coaches up and coming talents including Sara Head who is rocketing up the rankings this year. She is world no.6, Europe’s no.5 and British no.1. In fact, it was Sara who nominated Jim for this award.

Jim also coaches at a club based in a spinal injuries hospital (Rookwood).

Scott and Claire Robertson are both ranked just outside the world top ten and British no.1 and no.2 respectively.

His protogés have travelled to Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland and Germany where the team have picked up medals at every event. The team also battled to bronze at the European Championships and most players have qualified for next year’s World Championships.

Jim has an excellent track record – he has coached players to World Championships level. He has been the coach for two Commonwealth Games with Claire and Sara reaching quarter finals at both. Claire and Scott also competed at the Beijing Paralympics.

One player, Ashley Davies, said: "Jim has helped me in a massive way- not only spending hours upon hours a week training with me and others but he is also there for advice. I haven’t known Jim for long but I’ve known him long enough to know that he is motivated and finds happiness in motivating people to get into sports and making a horrible accident that little bit easier. I could never thank him enough - he has changed my outlook on life."


Andrew is coach to Adaptive Rowers City of
Swansea Rowing Club

With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Andrew is currently working with four rowers, including Paralympian James Roberts from Prestatyn.

James finished fifth at the 2009 World Rowing Championships and has made excellent progress in recent years – the highlight being a fifth place finish at the Beijing Paralympics.

Andrew has made it possible for disabled athletes to have access to rowing in an area that had very few suitable facilities. This has not hampered him in any way and has shown how easy it can be to use makeshift equipment to ensure disabled participants can have new experiences.

Andrew is also working with Welsh Rowing to make sure that disabled people across Wales have the opportunity to row. As a result of his work, two more clubs have welcomed disabled athletes.

If he’s not on the water in
Swansea, Andrew will probably be found travelling to competitions with James. Providing support at most major championships, Andrew always brings back new knowledge to share with coaches and athletes in Wales.


Sponsored by University Of Wales Institute Of Cardiff (UWIC)


Tom has already been named Welsh Athletics Young Volunteer 2009.

He has been involved with the National Junior League under 17s and 20s team for North Wales. He has also been involved with the Sportshall athletics for North West Wales where for the last three years the teams have gone through to the UK final.

Tom gives up most evenings throughout the year to help develop athletics in North Wales. He is pivotal to organising additional training weekends, competitions as well as attending meetings and events to further his own development.

He is heavily involved with the International Island Games and was key to the preparations of the 2007 championships and the 2009 games in Rhodes.

Tom also volunteers his time to train the Sportshall teams and also gives up his weekends to look after the junior teams when travelling back and forth from South Wales.

Tom has identified his aims in wanting to get involved with regional championships, team managing of regional squads, volunteering for UK School Games, and also wants to gain further coaching qualifications.


Emyr is Senior Club Coach and Elite Performance Coach at
Carmarthen Judo Club which currently has the highest number of licensed members in Wales.

Until July 2009, he taught at Caerleon Judokwai which saw a 500% increase in participation and a waiting list for classes.

Despite only being 24, Emyr has already achieved a great deal as a coach, recognised by his peers, students and everyone involved with his clubs.

During the past nine years, Emyr has dedicated countless hours to teaching and travelling with students to competitions for support without pay, whilst also juggling his own competitive career.

His current crop of players includes eight medal winners at the 2009 Welsh National Championships, including two Welsh Champions; representatives for Wales at the 2009 UK School Games and multiple black and brown belts.

He has produced more than 40 medal winners at the Welsh National Championships since 2001, including 15 Welsh Champions and numerous medal winners at the British School Championships, including two champions.


Natalie Davies, a Year 10 student at
Maesteg Comprehensive School, has gone from dancer to Dance Leader, choreographing and mixing the music for both the junior and senior 5x60 Dance clubs in the school.

She helped the junior and senior age group teams to gain second place in the Welsh Schools National Dance Championships and first place in the Bridgend County Dance Competition. This was a remarkable feat considering all the other school teams at the competitions were coached either by PE teachers or qualified dance instructors.

From her outstanding work, a number of community centres, schools, the Sports Development Unit and other clubs in the Bridgend Borough have approached Natalie for her expertise and involvement in their programmes.


Nia has gone from competitor to taking control of the Elite Squad in
Llanelli Academy and the Welsh Prep and Advanced Squads.

Under her guidance the squads are climbing the ranks both in Britain and Internationally. She has consistently produced British champions and medal winners, across several age categories.

Nia has taken the Welsh National Squad gymnasts to compete in Poland, America, Portugal and Finland.

She balances her coaching role with a full time job working as a 5x60 Officer in
Swansea and also coaches at Llanelli Academy for 18 hours a week and six hours at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff.


Sponsored by SklillsActive


Kylie has had a huge impact on women's rugby in Wales. She is WRU Women's Under 20s Head Coach/Performance Director UWIC Women's Rugby.

She has been coaching for ten years and juggles commitments with a full-time job as Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Sport and PE at

Using her own experience as an international player, she has a good understanding of what is required.

This year, she has coached
UWIC to the BUCS title. The team also scooped UWIC Team of the Year 08/09.

Wales U20s also reached 4th position in the Nations Cup last July.

She became the first woman in Wales to receive a Level Three coaching qualification.

Kylie has also been involved in delivering the WRU Executive Coaching programme to Wales' elite men’s coaches.


As Senior Women’s Head Coach, Pam has propelled the team to winning bronze at the Euro National Trophy in Rome.

For the first time since 1998, the women’s team has qualified to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010. The team have also made the grade to compete at World Cup qualifiers in 2010.

She has coached for 15 years and is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader at Glyndwr University.

She leads by example, inspiring others by her professionalism and dedication to the task. She is extremely resourceful leaving no stone unturned in her quest for the highest performance outcomes.


She is Junior Head Coach at
Llandaff Rowing Club.

Having coached for 15 years, she juggles the coaching of up and coming rowers with the running of a small business.

Under her wing are 60 young rowers and she is lead coach to another eight talents in the 16+ age groups.

This year, three athletes were invited to join the Welsh National training group.

The women’s four won gold at the National Inter-Regional Regatta - two girls from the crew then went on to win a gold medal at the National Championships in the Welsh Junior Women's eight and represented Wales at the Home International Regatta.

The junior’s from
Llandaff contributed five junior boys and two junior girls to the Welsh Team in 2009 making it the largest club contingent from any one club. One boy was in the winning Junior Men's Quad Scull.

Sarah has consistently run a successful junior section of the rowing club for nine years. The section has grown steadily year on year and Sarah has built a coaching team and network of volunteers.

The Coach of the Year Awards recognises and honours those coaches who work tirelessly on the sidelines to inspire success.

Last year’s winner of the prestigious Coach of the Year award was Wales swim coach Billy Pye. The former miner from Blaengwynfi recorded a phenomenal year, winning coaching gongs aplenty at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons. Author David Mason.

1 comment:

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |