29 Oct 2008

Three sports coaches are in the running for an award which recognises the importance of coaching through the medium of Welsh.

The Sports Council for Wales has today unveiled the shortlist for the 2008 Coach of the Year and the Welsh language category which is sponsored by University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC).

The winners will be announced at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff on Wednesday 26th November, 2008.

The award will see a long-standing athletics coach from Llanelli go head to head against a dedicated rowing guru from a Cardiff school and the inspirational manager of Amlwch Town Junior Football Club in Anglesey.

UWIC is championing the award by sponsoring the category. The university’s school of sport is a recognised centre of excellence within the UK.

The Sports Council for Wales’ mission is to get more people in Wales more active, more often. It needs to ensure that children and young people are able access physical activity and coaching through their preferred language. This is why it is essential that those coaches working on the frontline to make this possible are honoured and recognised.


  • This former policeman has cultivated the talents of rising star Dewi Griffiths. The 16-year-old competed for the GB Under 20 team in the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh earlier this year. Griffiths was placed 67th. He also became the U20 English Championship silver medallist over 5K and, as a 17 year old, he became Welsh Schools Champion over 3k.
  • A female athlete under Evans’ wing – Alaw Beynon-Thomas - became Welsh School 1500m champion (4:54.5), Welsh U20 Silver medallist 1500m (4:56.15).
  • He was also responsible for the coaching of Andres Jones who travelled to the Sydney Olympics to compete in the 10k.
  • Evans is a previous Welsh Cross Country Team Manager and selector for 16 years. He has also served as British Junior Team Manager and has coached 71 athletes to Welsh International level and three to UK level.
  • Has been involved with Carmarthen Harriers for more than 30 years and competed for the club as a hurdler
  • Over the last 25 years, he has had remarkable success as a middle and long distance coach. He was based in Aberaeron for many years and introduced athletics to many youngsters - many of then became Welsh Champions and Internationals.
  • For his services to the community and athletics, he has been awarded an MBE and, in 1989, he was awarded Sports Council for Wales Junior Coach Award.

SIAN ELIN GRIFFITHS, ROWING Peterston Super Ely, Cardiff

  • Established Clwb Rhwyfo Plasmawr (Plasmawr Rowing Club) with the support of Llandaff Rowing Club to introduce pupils of Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Plasmawr in Cardiff to rowing.
  • Two pupils from the school have represented Wales in the Summer 2008 Home Internationals. One of them is training with the Disability Sport Wales Federation in Cardiff Bay with the hope of competing in the 2012 Paralympic team.
  • The club meets once a week and a range of ages and abilities attend. Pupils take pride in their involvement with the club and the atmosphere within the group is one of trust, cooperation and respect.
  • The club is inclusive – there is no cost to the pupils and it is able to offer access to visually impaired youngsters and those with other needs through the support of the school’s learning support area.
  • Since May 2008, three new year 8 members joined and a further three joined in September 2008. The club is looking forward to taking part in this year’s indoor rowing championships in December 2008 and are hoping to match or better their medal haul from 2007.


  • Manager/Coach of Amlwch Town Junior Football Club Under 7s and Under 11s and Manager of Amlwch Town Junior Football Club Under 12s.
  • Forty players have registered with Under 11s age group while more than 20 players have registered with the Under 7s.
  • The Under 11s reached two finals in mini football tournaments while the Under 7s age group were victorious.
  • The Under 12s boast a squad of 21 players
  • He was heavily involved in implementing Welsh language sessions within the club.
  • He is eager to speak Welsh with the youngsters and this is an inspiration to others.
  • He played an obvious part in the club adopting the Welsh Language Policy. Welsh is a second language to him but he can coach comfortably in the language.