COMMUNITY sport will be celebrated at the annual Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards at Sixways Stadium.
Recognising the dedication of coaches, clubs and athletes will be on the agenda at the November 9 awards evening, along with the celebration of sporting success among many aspiring athletes.
Without committed coaches, many sporting activities would not happen, and the Community Coach of the Year award rewards the achievements of a paid or unpaid coach from one of the two counties who has made significant impact on those they have coached, providing increasing opportunities for people to start, stay and succeed in sport.
Chris Corke, Workforce Project Officer, said: “Without coaches, then clubs, community groups and many organisations would simply be unable to provide positive sporting and physical activity experiences for their participants.
“Coaches have a huge influence over individual sporting habits and are key to providing sessions that are enjoyable and motivating for participants to attend week after week.
“Rewarding our coaches can often be overlooked, but it is an essential part of valuing their role and commitments, which are often voluntary.
“It is important to highlight how our coaches make a difference within our communities and a thank you gesture can indeed have a huge impact.”
He added: “There are a whole host of benefits that originate from coaching – building new friendships, improving confidence, reducing stress and improving general well-being.
“You can develop a wide range of transferrable skills such as communication and creativity, all useful for the working world. Coaching often helps you to feel closer to your local community and provides a rewarding role to help people grow and achieve their goals through sport and physical activity.
“The under-representation of women in coaching is a significant issue. National campaigns such as Reach, run by Sports Coach UK and supported by Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, are designed to address this issue and inspire more women to get into coaching.”
Reach also concentrates on rewarding the success of female coaches. 2012 torchbearer Emma Patrick was honoured previously for her contributions to Sascha and Nyree Kindred’s swimming glory, picking up the Coach of the Year award at the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sports Awards.
Winning seven gold medals between them, the duo’s IPC European Championships and IPS World Short Course Championships were a great success, along with silver medals in London 2012.
Other Coach of the Year award winners include 2013’s Greig Middleton, the archery coach behind Mel Clarke’s London 2012 silver medal.
He said: “I’m immensely proud and very happy to have been honoured in this way. As coaches we tend to live in the background – and many of us want it that way – but it is very nice to be recognised for what we do.”
More than 60 hours of coaching, along with a club restructure, led to the City of Hereford Swimming Club’s success in producing one British champion, two British finalists, two Welsh champions, one South African qualifier and one individual on the England Talent ID programme, along with three top ten age group swimmers in Great Britain.
Extending their accolade, City of Hereford SC claimed the Club of the Year award in both 2011 and 2013.
Developing their facilities and playing major roles at the London 2012 Olympics helped Kidderminster’s Samurai Judo Club to secure their Clubmark Gold accreditation and they were named Club of the Year in both 2008 and 2013.
If you have been inspired by these stories or know anyone who deserves recognition for their dedication to sport within their community, you can nominate them for the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Sports Awards.
Visit www.sportspartnershiphw.co.uk/nominations. Nominations close on September 25. Alternatively, you can contact Sarah Mackay on 01905 855543.