Gatland named UK coach of the year

Blackpool Citizen: Warren Gatland won top honours at the UK Coaching Awards 2013 Warren Gatland won top honours at the UK Coaching Awards 2013

Warren Gatland has been named UK coach of the year and high-performance coach of the year.

The Wales and British and Irish Lions coach won the top honours at the UK Coaching Awards 2013.

He beat rivals including Lloyd Cowan, coach of 400metres world champion Christine Ohuruogu, and England netball coach Anna Mayes for the coveted prize.

The 50-year-old New Zealander joins a list of previous winners including heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill's coach Toni Minichiello and England cricket team director Andy Flower.

"It's a great honour to be named UK coach of the year and high-performance coach of the year," Gatland said.

"There is an illustrious list of previous winners and it's an honour to join to them.

"It's great to be recognised but I have worked in some great set-ups and with some great teams, so I would like to thank all those I have worked alongside."

Since Gatland took over the Wales reins in 2007, the team have won Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012 as well as reaching the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup.

Under his guidance, the Lions recorded a first series victory in 16 years when they played Australia in three Tests over the summer.

Billed as the awards in support of coaches, the honours, presented at a glittering central London ceremony, celebrate the role and performances of coaching and coaches at every level, from community sport to elite.

The coaches who helped trigger Sir Ben Ainslie's interest in sailing as a young boy and then guided his career through to becoming a four-time Olympic champion, the world's most successful Olympic sailor and now a winner of the America's Cup, were also winners.

Dr Phil Slater, Cathy Foster, Jim Saltonstall, John Derbyshire and David Howlett won the coaching chain award.

The prize recognises the coaches who played a key role in an athlete's success, from firing their interest or encouraging them in a sport, through to developing their talent and coaching them at the elite level.

The winners of the UK coaching awards are:

:: High-performance coach of the year - Warren Gatland.

:: The coaching chain award - The coaches of sailor Sir Ben Ainslie - Dr Phil Slater, Cathy Foster, Jim Saltonstall, John Derbyshire and David Howlett.

:: Governing body of the year - British Cycling.

:: Disability coach of the year - Truro multi-sports coach Steve Hillman.

:: Coach educator of the year - Justyn Price of StreetGames.

:: Coaching intervention of the year - StreetGames doorstep coaching programme.

:: The Heather Crouch young coach of the year - Portsmouth tennis coach Tim Lord-Hopkins.

:: Children's coach of the year - Bisley cycling coach John Gunn.

:: Performance-development coach of the year - England Rugby Union under-20s head coach Nick Walshe.

:: Lifetime achievement award - North Shields netball coach Lynne Booth.

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