NI coaching talent to be celebrated as Sport NI launches 2016 Coaching Awards

16 June 2016

NI coaching talent to be celebrated as Sport NI launches 2016 Coaching Awards

Northern Ireland’s sporting community is being urged to say ‘thank you’ to local sports coaches as online nominations open for the 2016 Sport NI Coaching Awards.

The Sport NI Coaching Awards, now in their third year, highlight outstanding coaches and coaching projects that have made a big impact over the last 12 months. There are eight award categories recognising achievement at all levels, from grassroots right through to high performance.

Launching the Awards on 6th June 2016 were two of last year’s winners - Ulster Badminton coach Andrew Stewart and Richard Gormley from Ulster University’s Ulster Sports Outreach Programme. After winning prizes at the 2015 Sport NI awards, both were put forward by Sport NI for consideration for the UK Coaching Awards, where they were recognised again, winning prizes for Performance Development Coach and Coaching Intervention of the Year.

Athletics NI Coach Development Lead Laura Kerr explains:

“Athletics in Northern Ireland relies on the hard work and talent of local coaches and these awards are a great platform for acknowledging the important work they do to prepare athletes at all levels of the pathway. Our Annual Awards that took place in January 2016 allowed us to recognise the outstanding dedication of our coaches and provided an opportunity to celebrate the success of coach-athlete pairs in 2015. With so many strong nominations for our own awards I hope to see Athletics well represented in Sport NI’s Awards.”

Recognising the positive impact of coaching in Northern Ireland, Sport NI Board Member Andrea Bingham commented:

“Sport Northern Ireland knows how vital coaching is for increasing participation, developing talent, and promoting more cohesive and inclusive communities through sport. Over the last two years, the Sport NI Coaching Awards have allowed us to highlight the outstanding coaching that exists in Northern Ireland, and the subsequent success of our winners at the UK Coaching Awards only reinforces this. I am confident that, with the public’s help, this year can be even bigger and better.”

The eight award categories are:

  • Children’s Coach of the Year
  • Community Coach of the Year
  • Young Coach of the Year (Under 25 years of age)
  • Disability Coach of the Year
  • Talent Development Coach of the Year
  • Club Performance Coach of the Year
  • High Performance Coach of the Year
  • Coaching Project of the Year

In addition, the Sport Northern Ireland REACH Award will be presented for the first time in 2016 to recognise the outstanding contribution of a female coach. Further information on the National REACH into Coaching Campaign can be found at  To be eligible for this award, a coach must be nominated in one of the award categories already outlined.

Links to the online nomination forms and guidance document are available at Nominations close on Friday 8th July for all categories except the High Performance Coach of the Year, which will close on Friday 23rd September after the summer outdoor season is complete.