3 Big wins at the UK Coaching Awards

A Coach Core programme, apprentice and Learning Coach have all won at UK Coaching’s prestigious awards.

By James Burbidge · 6th December 2023

Tonight we recognise the exceptional talent and commitment that flourishes within our coaching community and the positive impact that coaches have on people. Coaches change lives.

Atholl Duncan, chair of UK Coaching

A select group of the UK’s most outstanding coaches, who have made remarkable contributions to transforming lives, were recognised at the annual UK Coaching Awards – and we’re delighted to say that 3 awards went to people and programmes that are part of the Coach Core Network.

Gabi Reid – Young Coach of the Year

Gabrielle Reid is a member of our England Boxing programme that started in 2022. She is a coach with a strong commitment to inclusivity; she co-creates and adapts activities to enable participants with varying needs to participate and reach their goals and seeks feedback to guide future sessions and to better support the people taking part.

Gabi has had an incredible impact in her first year of coaching, creating a vibrant and empowering atmosphere that fosters positivity, pride and fulfilment in the children and young adults that attend.

Paul Thompson, Director of People and Learning at Coach Core:

“We’re really proud of Gabi – she’s dedicated to helping everyone succeed and feel included, especially those who traditionally experience barriers, discrimination, and lack of opportunities. She’s great at connecting with each person, involving them in decisions, and making her coaching fun and engaging. She has made a big impact, inspiring and transforming lives through boxing.”

Wasim Collins – Coach Developer of the Year

Wasim Collins is a Learning Coach based in the North East. He takes Coach Core apprentices through the education content they need to pass their apprenticeship and provides engaging learning and content and holistic support to young people from deprived or challenging backgrounds or who face limited opportunities.

A role model for young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds, he has supported apprentices who have experienced homelessness, been in foster care, left prison, experienced discrimination, and needed mental health support.

Taking the time to understand each apprentice and the environment/community that they work in, Wasim takes a personalised approach, adapting his delivery to fit the needs of each individual, instilling self-confidence and assurance. Over 77% of his first cohort experienced positive exit routes from their apprenticeships.

Paul Thompson:

“We are incredibly proud of Wasim and his remarkable work as a coach developer at Coach Core & Lifetime Training. His dedication to understanding and supporting coaches, particularly young people from challenging circumstances, is truly inspiring. His commitment to ensuring that these young coaches feel valued, supported and listened to is exceptional.”

England Boxing Programme – Inclusive Coaching Award

Espousing a people-led approach, the Coach Core programme we run with England Boxing was launched to create a legacy of opportunity for all. Offering apprenticeships to young people aged 18-25 from underrepresented groups (specifically, lower socio-economic groups and ethnically diverse communities), the programme supports their development, empowering them to deliver great sessions, become role models and ambassadors and develop invaluable transferable skills.

Paul Thompson:

“We’re extremely proud of our collaboration with England Boxing. By recruiting young apprentices from diverse backgrounds, including lower socio-economic and ethnically diverse communities, we’ve leveraged the influence of relatable young role models to make a real difference. These apprentices, coming from similar backgrounds as their communities, have played a crucial role in organising training sessions, events, and projects that engage and motivate underrepresented individuals. This recognition is a testament to the outstanding work of England Boxing and its profound impact on inspiring and transforming lives through boxing.”

The Awards took place on 5 December 2023, at the Queens Hotel in Leeds. The event, regarded as the most prestigious within the coaching community, acknowledged the significant achievements of ten award recipients but also honoured renowned FA children’s coach Peter Sturgess, the esteemed coaches of Lioness Lucy Bronze MBE, and the exceptional Tom Coyd MBE.

UK Coaching’s CEO Mark Gannon reflects on the extensive range of coaching talent, among the announced finalists:

“This evening has been truly extraordinary, a celebration that goes beyond recognising exceptional coaching. Coaches are the unsung heroes, pivotal in upholding the health and well-being of our nation, and it’s truly inspiring to not just acknowledge but honour their impactful contributions at this year’s UK Coaching Awards.

The talent, drive, and passion exhibited by not only our winners, but all the finalists and nominees are awe-inspiring. Each of them should take immense pride in their remarkable achievements.”

Mark Gannon


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