Athletics NI Celebrate Coaches at Annual Awards

20 December 2019

Athletics NI Celebrate Coaches at Annual Awards

On Sunday 1st of December 2019, Athletics Northern Ireland presented their annual coaching awards in conjunction with the Coaching Conference at Ulster University, Jordanstown, which was headlined by Peter Stanley and Steve Ingham.

Athletics NI reached out to parents, athletes, clubs and community groups for nominations to ensure that those coaches who continue to support athletes to raise their standards of performance and who contribute to the growth of the sport were recognised for their invaluable contributions.

Coach Development Lead, Laura Kerr explained: “It has been a fantastic 15 months of athletics with 43 Northern Ireland Athletes selected to teams for major championships and 13 U20 & Senior Northern Ireland Records broken since the last awards night.  This is a testament to the hard work and commitment to improvement from our coaches.  Coaches play a valuable role in supporting and mentoring athletes at all levels as they strive towards fulfilling their athletic potential and preparing for the future.”

The following coaching awards were presented to coaches based on the performances of their athletes in the 2018-2019 season (beginning October 2018 ending at World Para Championships 15th November 2019.)

2019-ciaraandsteveindoha.jpgSenior Coach of the Year- Awarded to Steve Vernon

After an incredible year that resulted in multiple NI & Ulster records; a European Indoor Bronze medal and a Top 10 finish at the Doha World Athletics Championships for Ciara Mageean, coach, Steve Vernon was awarded Performance Coach of the Year.  The coach-athlete pair are flourishing in the early stages of their partnership with Steve helping Ciara to enjoy the pressure that comes with elite sport and see it as a privilege to be competing on the World stage.  

Junior Performance Coach of the Year-Awarded to the Coaching Team of Kate O’Connor2019-kateoconnoreurou20silver.jpg

Following her scintillating silver medal and new NI and Irish Senior record at the European U20 Women’s Heptathlon in Sweden, the coaching team of Kate O’Connor- Michael O’Connor, Tom Reynolds and Laura Kerr, have been recognised for the part they played in producing the Junior Performance of the Year.  Since 2017 the Rising Stars – Youth Academy – and now Commonwealth Potential athlete has added an astounding 1000 points to the Northern Ireland Senior Record and moves up to World Senior no.32 and 29th on the all-time European U20 rankings alongside superstar names like Karolina Kluft, Katerina Johnson-Thompson, Morgan Lake and Nafi Thiam.

2019-coachingawards-rogersexton.jpgJunior Para Coach of the Year- Awarded to Roger Sexton

Roger Sexton, coach to Eve Walsh Dann was presented with the Junior Para Coach of the Year as a result of Eve’s having the highest world ranking of any NI Junior Para athlete based on her seasons best performance achieved at the Manchester International.

 

The following award winners were determined by a panel after review of all nominations from athletes, parents and clubs:

Community Coach of the Year-Jointly Awarded to Alistair Bratten and Trevor McGlynn

Community Coach of the Year was Awarded to two outstanding contributors to their local 2019-coachingawards-alistairbratten.jpgcommunity. Alistair Bratten is the founder and lead junior coach of Springwell Running Club, the largest Athletics Northern Ireland affiliated club with a staggering 839 members. Alistair is heavily involved in the organisation and delivery of the Causeway rounds of the Flahavan’s Primary Schools Cross Country League with upwards of 400 local children being given the opportunity to take part in Cross Country running.

 

2019-coachingawards-trevormcglynn.jpgThe joint recipient of this award Trevor McGlynn of Omagh Harriers was recognised for the huge investment of time and effort he puts in to coaching athletes from all parts of his local community and further a field.  He works with athletes of varying ages and stages of development and encourages everyone to get involved in the sport of athletics regardless of their own personal ability or background. Trevor has introduced a number of individuals to masters Track & Field Athletics and coached many of them to medal success.

 

Development Coach of the Year- Awarded to Paul Kirkpatrick2019-coachingawards-paulkirkpatrick.jpg

Development Coach of the Year was awarded to North Down coach Paul Kirkpatrick. Paul has been instrumental in coaching an emerging group of throwers in the North Down area and has worked with athletes from 15 years+ who are now talented throwers winning medals at NI & Ulster, Irish Schools and Irish club level this year.

 

 

Young Coach of the Year- Awarded to Ashlene MacAnulty2019-coachingawards-ashlenemacanulty.jpg

The award for Young Coach of the Year was presented to Newry based coach Ashlene MacAnulty.  Ashlene has gained significant experience coaching athletics in school, university and a variety of community settings. She has delivered a number of initiatives at various stages of the Athlete Development Pathway, beginning with 8 year old athletes at the fundamental stage. Ashlene’s broad experience with a range of age groups has enabled her to develop leadership and organisational skills, in planning sessions, developing programs and delivering them to the best of her ability applying knowledge attained throughout her Sports Science degree, coaching qualifications and athletics specific workshops.  

Athletics Northern Ireland also want to take the time to recognise 14 new record breaking coach-athlete pairs. The following records were set since our last awards night in September 2018 with the men’s marathon record broken twice in that time:

Athlete Name

Category

Performance

Coach Name

Date

Location

John Kelly

Senior Record

Shot Put - 18.50m

John Kelly Snr

04/08/19

Leiria, POR

Ciara Mageean

Senior Record

Mile - 4:19.03

Steve Vernon

12/07/19

Monaco,

FRA

Kate O’Connor

Senior & U20 Record

Heptathlon - 6093

O’Connor, Kerr, Reynolds

19/07/19

Boras,

SWE

Anne-Marie McGlynn

Senior Record

Half Marathon - 72:00

Colin Roberts

10/02/19

Barcelona,

ESP

Ciara Mageean

Senior Record

1500m

Steve Vernon

4:00.15

Doha,

QA

Anne-Marie McGlynn

Senior Record

Marathon - 2:32.54

Colin Roberts

26/10/19

Dublin,

IRL

Paul Pollock

Senior Record

Marathon - 2:10.17

Andy Hobdell

01/12/19

Valencia,

ESP

Stephen Scullion

Senior Record

Marathon - 2:12.01

Stephen Hass

26/10/19

Dublin,

IRL

Kate O’Connor

Senior & U20 Record

Javelin - 52.92m

Laura Kerr

19/07/19

Boras,

SWE

Davicia Patterson

U20 Record

400m - 52.57

Ian Neely

15/06/19

Geneva,

SUI

Aaron Sexton

U20 Record

100m - 10.43

Roger Sexton

01/06/19

Tullamore,

IRL

Aaron Sexton

U20 Record

200m - 20.69

Roger Sexton

01/06/19

Tullamore,

IRL

Grace Carson

U20 Record

3000m - 9:31.56

Bill Foster

01/08/19

Belfast,

NIR

Troy McConville

U20 Record

Decathlon - 6788

Brendan McConville

25/08/19

Belfast,

 NIR

All Northern Ireland records can be found on the Athletics NI website: https://athleticsni.org/Athletes/Records-and-Statistics 

 

We would lastly, like to congratulate all of our awards winners on their continued efforts for the sport of athletics and we look forward to working with you all in the new year.