17 Nov 2005


Female coach of the Year – Katherine Morgan

Kath Morgan is a current Welsh football international with over 50 caps to her name. She is also a full-time teacher and a professional football player for Bristol Rovers.

Such is her passion for sport - and for football in particular - Kath spends her free time coaching girls in her local area, spending her evenings on the touchlines and supporting player development structures, girls’ festivals and the Merthyr Girls U15’s league.

More recently three girls under her tutorship have been selected for the Girls U16’s National Team. Kath has been instrumental in the development of women’s football in her area and she is currently also helping to establish the first Merthyr Girls U11’s Summer League.

Volunteer Coach of the Year – Tom Meyer

Tom’s protégées have reaped the rewards since he began leading the sprints group at Cardiff Athletics Club. A successful season began when two of his students secured medals at the AAA’s U17’s championships in Birmingham this year - Nat Smithies was second in the 400m, breaking through the 50 second barrier while Lloyd Refel was third in the 200m breaking through the 22 sec barrier for the first time.

Tom can often be found trackside at the Athletics club up to four times a week on a voluntary basis and also contributes to helping other coaches and athletes in his role as Welsh Event Coach.

Coach to Disabled Sports People – Jim Munkley

Jim will be packing his bags for Melbourne next year as he prepares to guide two of his shining table tennis protégées to success at the Melbourne 206 Commonwealth Games.

All the time and effort Jim puts in as coach is voluntary which shows his dedication to disabled sport. His players - three of which nominated him for the award - find his support invaluable.

Jim has been involved in disability sport since 1966 after he had a diving accident and has fulfilled his role in a coaching capacity since 1973.

He has been the Chairman of the Welsh Paraplegic and Tetraplegic Sports Association since 1973 which fundraises and secures grants to help disabled athletes compete at a grassroots level. He is also a Director on the Board of the Federation of Disability Sport Wales (FDSW).

Jim has competed in five Paralympic games, as well as numerous world and European Championships and is immensely proud of his own selection to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 1970 and 1974.

Jim is also an active volunteer at Rookwood hospital in Llandaff where he introduces patients with spinal injuries and acquired disabilities to the sporting opportunities available to them. Jim was able to facilitate the funding of transporting the Rookwood team to the Spinal Unit Games 2005 via the Welsh Paraplegic and Tetraplegic Association.

Teacher Coach of the Year – Beverley Hopkins, Palmerstone Primary School, Barry.

Beverley teaches in a mainstream primary school that has a number of children with disabilities integrated within the classes.

She has been instrumental in the development of extra-curricular Dragon Sport activities within her teaching role at the school and has been particularly effective in attracting many children into sport who may otherwise not have participated.

She coordinates a number of clubs including hockey, athletics, football, rugby and dance, ensuring that all children have access to sport regardless of their ability.

She has recently started a Sportsability Club for pupils who have higher support needs. In addition to her role she also finds the time to access funding and motivate other adults to assist with activities. Her dedication to the development of sports opportunities is further exemplified by her work in setting up a community sports club for children with disabilities in conjunction with a former colleague– again in a voluntary capacity - and she has also managed to motivate some of her work colleagues to volunteer at the club.

Her tremendous work has already been acknowledged by the Vale of Glamorgan’s District Sports Council who awarded her the Dragon Sport Volunteer of the Year trophy.

Sports Council for Wales Coach of the Year

Name: Mike Ruddock

Born: 5 September, 1959 in Blaina
Educated: Nantyglo Comprehensive School

Player: Wales under-16's (captain vs England 1975), Wales Youth final trialist, Blaina, Tredegar, Swansea (119 apps, 43 tries), Wales B (1982). Back-row forward in Swansea's Welsh Cup r/up 1983.

First occupation: Electricity linesman (fractured skull when knocked down from pole, also compressed three vertebrae in back and damaged an organ of balance in one ear that ended his career as a player in 1985).

Coaching: Blaina, Cross Keys, Bective Rangers, Swansea (1991, moving after two years to director of coaching, until 1997); Leinster (director coaching 1997-2000); Ireland A; Ebbw Vale (2000-03); Gwent Dragons (2003-04). Also coached Emerging Wales and Wales A and assistant coach of Wales (1995 Rugby World Cup).

Succeeded Steve Hansen as Welsh International Coach on the 11th of March 2004, becoming the 14th man to hold the post.