Welsh Coaches Lewis And Coulson In Line For Top Award

Lee Coulson aiming to identify and develop talent in Commonwealth Games bid. Pic: Steve Pope-Sporting Wales

Welsh Coaches Lewis And Coulson In Line For Top Award

Two Welsh coaches are finalists in the 2018  UK Coaching Awards.

Francesca Lewis and Lee Coulson are finalists for the 2018 Talent Development Coach of the Year and Community Coach of the Year awards, respectively.

Swansea-based tennis coach Lewis was recently awarded the Tennis Wales Coach of the Year and was shortlisted for British Tennis Coach of the Year and is hoping to claim yet another prestigious award for her work in 2018.

Her achievements in the last 12 months have not gone unnoticed, having been responsible for bringing through a huge number of players from entry level into the local academy programmes, with her players winning five national singles titles.

Lewis also raises funds – in excess of £10,000 annually – to support players at regional levels and above to train and compete.

Coulson’s work as a disability sport performance coach hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with 26 years of experience in coaching basketball, and a further 15 years in coaching disability sport, the Aberystwyth coach is helping to raise the profile of disability sport in Wales exponentially.

As a Disability Sport Wales National Performance Pathway Coach, many of his participants have won international gold medals and this success has enabled Coulson to grow the performance pathway. Even more children and young people can now take part in, and excel at, disability sport.

Multi-sport coach Coulson said: “Firstly, it’s just a massive honour just to be nominated. I do what I do because I love it. Coaching has become my life. I’m absolutely honoured to be nominated, coming after 26 years it’s very rewarding.

“Everybody should have the opportunity to play sport. I do what I do to possibly change other people’s perceptions on disability sport. In 2011 I had the opportunity to run a wheelchair basketball taster session, and that changed my whole life and my entire outlook on coaching and towards sport as a whole.”

Hosted by UK Coaching, the showpiece annual event is seen as one of the most prestigious by the coaching community and will be held at The HAC, City of London on Thursday 29 November.

The awards continue the organisation’s celebration of great coaching, which commenced earlier this year with the UK’s first ever Coaching Week.

The principle of the Awards is to recognise and reward great coaching from people and organisations across the UK at all levels across sport and activity, from community to high performance.

Previous winners include coaches and organisations making a huge difference in their community as well as the coaching elite working across a wide variety of sports on the world stage.

Emma Atkins, Director of Coaching at UK Coaching said: “Great coaching takes place across the UK every day and the UK Coaching Awards is our chance to formalise our recognition, congratulations and thanks to coaches for all their hard work.

“Last year, over nine million adults received coaching in the UK, with the majority of participants enjoying a positive experience.

“To celebrate this, we hosted our first ever Coaching Week and got our great coaching message out to over 50million people across the UK. In the same week we launched our Principles of Great Coaching designed to help people recognise what great coaching looks like.

“The UK Coaching Awards has been staged for over twenty years, and we are confident that this year will be the biggest celebration of great coaching yet.”

Want to join the stars of the show? Tickets and table sales can be found here:


UK Coaching Awards

The finalists for the 2018 UK Coaching Awards are:

Awards for coaches

The following categories will be awarded to coaches:

Children’s Coach of the Year – supported by sportscotland

Ady Gray (Karate)
Danielle Lewis-Collins (Netball)
Fionnuala Duhaney-Keown (Basketball)
Community Coach of the Year

Adrian Klemens (Multi-sport)
Lee Coulson (Multi-sport)
Sarah Toone (Cycling)
Disability Coach of the Year

Cameron Osburn (Multi-sport)
Joanne Sykes (Multi-sport)
Melanie Timberlake (Multi-sport)
Heather Crouch Young Coach of the Year

Callum Barney (Powerlifting)
Gemma Lumsdaine (Wheelchair Basketball)
Isobella Cottrell (Multi-sport)
High Performance Coach of the Year

Craig Morris (Canoeing)
Matthew Lawrence (Paracanoe)
Tracey Neville MBE (Netball)
Lifetime Achievement Award

Dave Rossetter (Canoeing)
Fred Furniss (Swimming)
Peter Stanley (Athletics)
Talent Development Coach of the Year

Francesca Lewis (Tennis)
Monica Eden (Cycling)
Zane Duquemin (Athletics)
Transforming Coaching through Technology (new for 2018) – supported by Reading Room

Institute of Swimming
Project 500
Scottish Rugby Union
Awards in support of coaches


The following categories will be awarded in support of coaches:

Coach Developer of the Year

Chris Brain (Canoeing)
Patricia Quirke (Cycling)
Richard Cheetham MBE (Multi-sport)
Coaching Culture Organisation of the Year

British Canoeing
Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy
Youth Sport Trust
Coaching for an Active Life Award – supported by Sport England

Access Sport
Move More Northern Ireland
Royal Foundation

New for 2018, the Great Coaching Moment of the Year celebrates a particular moment in time when a coach’s support and guidance really paid off. This awardis open to a public vote, beginning on the 19 November and concluding on the night of the Awards.

The finalists are:

Gareth Southgate – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Tracey Neville – Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
Coaches of Old Otliensians RUFC – 2018 RFU Junior Vase

UK Coaching will also recognise great coaching through The Coaching Chain, which recognises contributions made by individual coaches throughout an elite athlete’s life.

UK Coaching

UK Coaching is the brand name of the National Coaching Foundation. Great coaching encourages people to be more active and lead healthier lifestyles and our mission is to put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport.

Coaching is in our DNA. For more than 30 years, alongside our partners, we have provided the coaching workforce with the skills and knowledge they need to make a positive difference. We’ve also supported our partners to do the same.

We’re now widening our scope to do this on a broader scale. How? By adopting a wider definition of coaching and extending our reach into new markets where great coaching makes a difference every day.

We’re here to:

raise the profile of coaching so that it is recognised for the wider benefits it brings to society and individuals
help our partners create coaching systems to deliver a fit for purpose workforce that better reflects society
make coaching easier to get into and stay involved in
supply the coaching workforce with the information they need to be participant focused
be a hub of research excellence for coaching
help coaches feel better connected, more knowledgeable and confident
be central to the sport and physical activity landscape; we’ll run an effective and efficient organisation
encourage technology to enable coaches and coaching.
In England, we support governing bodies of sport, county sports partnerships and leisure providers, as well as many other organisations across the sport and physical activity landscape.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and at high performance level, we work with the relevant sports councils to reach partners throughout the coaching system. Further information on UK Coaching can be found on our website: www.ukcoaching.org

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