COACH OF THE YEAR DEADLINE LOOMS

12 Sep 2006

Welsh International Rugby Coach Mike Ruddock with his Coach of the Year AwardThe closing date for nomination for the 2006 Sports Council for Wales’ Coach of the Year awards falls on the 22nd of September 2006 and people are being urged to put forward their candidates for nomination as soon as possible.

These awards are designed to reward and honour those coaches who work tirelessly on the sidelines to inspire success from grassroots to elite level.

While the nation revelled in the successes of the Welsh contingent at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and cycling supremo Nicole Cooke’s World Cup triumph, coaches across the length and breadth of Wales have been moulding their own young talents into the stars of the future. The Sports Council for Wales is particularly on the lookout for these local heroes who continue to make an invaluable impact on the ground in Welsh communities.

Chair of the Sports Council, Philip Carling explains:

"These awards are not just about high profile coaches. We are looking for those coaches at a local or regional level who make a big impact.

"Those coaching youngsters at the local level are just as vital as those who work with elite athletes. It is the coaches at a grassroots level who encourage youngsters into sport, keeping them motivated and active.

"It is crucial that the achievements of coaches – at all levels - are acknowledged in order to raise the profile of coaching."

The winning coaches across eight categories will be unveiled at a ceremony at the Welsh Institute of Sport, Cardiff on 23rd November, 2006.

Last year’s winner of the prestigious Coach of the Year award was former Wales International rugby coach Mike Ruddock [pictured above] who led the Welsh 15 to RBS Six Nations Grand Slam glory in 2005.

In previous years, the main accolade has been awarded to swim guru Dave Haller (2004), Triathlon’s National Coach Chris Jones (2003), Wales National Rowing Coach Damian Hammond (2002), Welsh rugby under-18 coach Denley Isaac (2001), cricket mentor Tom Cartright (2000), British Lions and Wales National Coach Graham Henry (1999) and cycling guru Shane Sutton (1998).

The categories are:

FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR - open to female coaches who are either employed on a part-time basis or as a volunteer

VOLUNTEER COACH OF THE YEAR: PERFORMANCE – open to volunteer coaches who have had an impact on improved levels of performance at Welsh/UK Level

VOLUNTEER COACH OF THE YEAR: COMMUNITY COACH – open to volunteer coaches who have had an impact on community development eg increasing junior membership at a club

COACH TO DISABLED SPORTSPEOPLE: PERFORMANCE – open to anyone who coaches disabled sportspeople who have had an impact on improved levels of performance at Welsh/UK Level

COACH TO DISABLED SPORTSPEOPLE: PARTICIPATION – open to anyone who coaches disabled sportspeople who have had an impact on or improved opportunities for people with a disability to become involved in sport

TEACHER-COACH OF THE YEAR – Primary – open to primary school teachers who provide sporting opportunities for young people outside of curricular time

TEACHER-COACH OF THE YEAR – Secondary – open to secondary school teachers who provide sporting opportunities for young people outside of curricular time

THE SPORTS COUNCIL FOR WALES’S COACH OF THE YEAR – open to any coach - volunteer or professional

The Sports Council for Wales is the main agent operating on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government in the delivery of physical activity and sport in Wales in response to Health Challenge Wales. Sports Minister Alun Pugh AM last year announced a £3.9 million cash injection into the Sports Council’s new coaching strategy, Coaching Wales.

The scheme aims to create ‘More coaches…better coaches’ and enhance coaching opportunities and systems across Wales. The plan provides the framework which aims to increase the number of coaches and leaders - both professional and voluntary - and recognise and promote coaching as a profession, with accredited qualifications and a real career development structure.

Nomination forms for the Coach of the Year 2006 categories are available from www.coachingwales.com or by contacting Coaching Wales on /