The main focus in Northern Ireland just now is the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this Summer but sports administrators in the North are looking further ahead .
Top coaches have joined forces to launch Sport Northern Ireland’s prestigious 2014 Coaching Awards.
The awards highlight the huge importance of coaches and the role they play in encouraging participation, development and excellence in sport. There are seven categories, allowing the contribution of coaches to be acknowledged and recognised, from grassroots right through to high performance level. One award category also recognises excellent coaching projects and their impact.
Showing their commitment to coaches and support for the awards, coaches Kate Carpenter from Netball, Neil Doak from Rugby, Gary Hamilton from football, Paddy Tally and Oisin McConville from GAA, joined rugby star Stephen Ferris and Sport Northern Ireland in calling on the public to nominate coaches and coaching organisations who have made a big impact on sport over the last 12 months.
Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland, Antoinette McKeown, sees the Awards as an excellent opportunity to recognise the dedication of our local coaches:
“Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to be launching the 2014 Coaching Awards, to give much needed recognition to our workforce of highly committed coaches. It has been an exciting 12 months for sport and the success of our local athletes and teams owes a huge amount to the dedication, enthusiasm, expertise and experience of coaches working behind the scenes. I am urging everyone to submit their nominations by Monday 7 July to recognise our fantastic coaches and coaching organisations!”
Ulster, Ireland and British and Irish Lions back-row forward Stephen Ferris, who is supporting Sport Northern Ireland’s Coach of the Year Awards, recognises the positive impact coaching has made on his career:
“Coming from a club background, good coaching really does make a difference and recognising and valuing the work of our coaches is extremely important. The hard work, patience and backing of coaches throughout my rugby career have been invaluable and I am delighted that Sport Northern Ireland has created a platform to say ‘thank you’ to our coaches and coaching organisations.”
To nominate a coach or project, visit www.sportni.net/