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Cornwall Coach Wins National Award!

Steve Hillman with his award

Cornwall multi-sports coach and Sports Inclusion Officer for the Cornwall Sports Partnership Steve Hillman was named as the National Disability Coach of the Year - supported by Sainsbury's Active Kids for All.

The UK Coaching Awards supported by Gillette honour sports coaches and coaching organisations who have demonstrated outstanding success over the previous 12 months.

Hosted by sports coach UK, the showpiece event is seen as one of the most prestigious within the industry and a glittering evening event took place at the Montcalm, Marble Arch in London on 3 December where Steve was presented with the award. It raises the profile of coaches and the role they play in encouraging participation, performance and excellence.

Awards are made following public nominations and a decision by an expert judging panel and aim to raise the profile of coaching and the role they play in encouraging participation, performance and excellence.

Steve's work has increased opportunities for disabled people in the county to participate and compete in sport. In the last 12 months alone he has set up three wheelchair basketball clubs in Cornwall, leading to the county having a wheelchair basketball side; established Boccia clubs at Truro College; and started wheelchair track sessions at a local leisure centre. Steve also trains other coaches to work with disabled participants and athletes.

Steve had the following to say, "I am so over the moon to win the Sports Coach UK Disability Coach of the Year Award, I was completely shocked to win as the other finalists were so strong and were so worthy. I would like to thank the Cornwall Sports Partnership who I have been employed by now for 7 years, the last 3 years as there Inclusion Officer, they have been massively influential in supporting me to achieve the development, coaching and sustainability of inclusive sports clubs in Cornwall"

There are eight award categories for coaches and two for organisations in support of coaching, in addition to the overall title of UK Coach of the Year.

Warren Gatland was named UK Coach of the Year and High-Performance Coach of the Year. The Wales and Lions coach beat Christine Ohuruogo's coach Lloyd Cowan, and England Netball coach Anna Mayes to the High-performance gong.

Two other Cornwall coaches were also recognised at the awards and these were Brian Smallworth for the work he has done with the Cornish Sharks American Football team and Melissa Reid for being the driving force behind Gllyngvase Surf Life Saving and Triathlon Club.

Rob Harrison Coach Development Manager for the Cornwall Sports Partnership said, "It's amazing to have 3 coaches in Cornwall recognised at these National awards, and when Steve Hillman was announced as a winner it was a tremendous achievement and goes to show how much good work goes on in Cornwall.  Coaching is integral to the future success of Cornish sporting talent and the Cornwall Sports Awards and UK Coaching Awards is part of the Cornwall Sports Partnership on going commitment to coaching and the development of coaches".

The full list of National coach winners is:
•UK Coach of the Year: Warren Gatland (Rugby Union)
•High-Performance Coach of the Year: Warren Gatland (Rugby Union)
•Coaching Chain Award: The Coaches of Ben Ainslie
•Lifetime Achievement Award: Lynne Booth (Netball)
•Performance Development Coach of the Year: Nick Walshe (Rugby Union)
•Disability Coach of the Year - Supported by Sainsbury's Active Kids for All: Steve Hillman (Multi sports)
•Gillette Community Coach of the Year: Ben Rigby
•Heather Crouch Children's coach of the Year - Supported by sportscotland: John Gunn (Cycling)
•Young Coach of the Year - supported by sportscotland: Tim Lord-Hopkins (Tennis)

For more information please contact Rob Harrison, Cornwall Sports Partnership Coach Development Manager on rharrison@cornwall.gov.uk