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Yorkshire Coaches Announced As Finalists For Prestigious Coaching Awards
Ady Gray
UK Coaching has today, 22 October, officially announced the finalists for the 2018 UK Coaching Awards, continuing the organisation’s celebration of great coaching, which commenced earlier this year with the UK’s first ever Coaching Week.

Included in the list are Yorkshire coaches Ady Gray, Cameron Osburn and Fred Furniss, selected as finalists for the 2018 Children’s Coach of the Year, Disability Coach of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards, respectively.

Gray, who has taught martial arts to children ranging from the ages of four to 16 for nearly 30 years, has now received his second consecutive nomination for Children’s Coach of the Year, highlighting the inspiration his athletes gain from his passion and dedication. He was invited to join the World Shotokan Federation (WSF) as President earlier this year and during this short time, the WSF squad have medalled at both national and world levels.

Fred Furniss. Photo by Georgie Kerr
Ripon-based martial arts coach, Gray said: “To be even nominated for this award over so many other great coaches is an honour – it means a lot on its own. To make the final twice in a row, it’s good to see that I’m being recognised for being consistent and I’m pushing the boundaries of coaching.

“It’s continuously challenging, you’re always learning. The worry is when you turn into a coach is that you may fall out of love with the sport, but I still love it after all these years, and no matter what class I’m teaching, I still love it and really enjoy it.”

Harrogate-based Osburn, who was born with cerebral palsy, founded a disability football club titled ‘Adversity United’, with the mission to break down barriers and reduce the stigma surrounding disability in sport. His undying commitment and love for football has inspired others, and at just 17 years of age, his achievements are spectacular.

George Osburn
Osburn’s mother, Claire, spoke about her pride for her son’s work: “We are all so immensely proud. His little brother really looks up to him, he thinks he’s a god.

“He had this goal in mind when he was 16, and he’s gone from strength to strength. He set up the team by himself; he got the funding and sourced grants and equipment. He’s asked questions along the way but generally he’s done the majority of it himself. We run it as a family but my husband and my younger son both work for him!”

The late Fred Furniss sadly passed away in July, but his legacy will live on for many years to come, as his 45 years of coaching swimming will long be remembered. Fred began his illustrious coaching career in Rotherham before moving to Kirklees having already nurtured multiple junior champions, a standard that Fred consistently raised with his athletes throughout his career. He most recently led Team England to success at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games and was inducted into the British Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Speaking on Furniss’ legacy and impact at Swim England, Grant Robins said: “Fred was grassroots to high level, he was all the way through. He was as passionate about an 11, 12, 13 year-old swimmer as he was about a senior international. His level of enthusiasm for the sport and developing the sport through the coaches or the swimmers was huge, he’s been involved across the whole pathway.

“When you’re getting close to 350 people at Fred’s funeral it goes to show. That’s a lot of thanks and a lot of impact over his 45 years. That was his legacy, he was always the man to turn to.”

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 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:

https://www.ukcoaching.org/about/our-awards

A Word From 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.

Yorkshire Coaches Announced As Finalists For Prestigious Coaching Awards, 22nd October 2018, 16:02 PM