THE CLASS OF 2016 – TOP COMMUNITY COACHES AND VOLUNTEERS MAKE FINAL LINE-UP

Fifteen heroes of grassroots sport in Wales have been selected to contest the Wales Sport Awards 2016.

They were shortlisted after being nominated for their outstanding contributions to community sport, following a nationwide search.

The winners will be revealed at the Wales Sport Awards ceremony at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff Bay on Monday 5 December 2016, organised jointly by BBC Wales and Sport Wales.

The five community awards celebrate the essential and often unseen work of volunteers and coaches who keep sport thriving in every corner of Wales.

The finalists for 2016 are:

Volunteer of the Year

Delyth Jones – Swimming/Denbighshire

Chris Landon – Cycling/Cardiff

Debra Cavill – Gymnastics/Carmarthenshire

Young Volunteer of the Year

Megan Curling – Gymnastics/Bridgend

Joseph Jones – Multi-Sport/Conwy

Gwenan Williams – Multi-Sport/Anglesey

Community Coach of the Year

Mathew Lamb – Football/Pembrokeshire

Roddie Milne – Taekwondo/Denbighshire

Paul Crapper – Cycling/Monmouthshire

Young Coach of the Year

Ieuan Davies – Hockey/Cardiff

Jamie Evans – Gymnastics/Bridgend

Daniel Johnsey – Swimming/Monmouthshire

Coach to Disabled People

Bob Perry and Richard Plenty – Squash/Cardiff

Emily Griffiths – Swimming/Vale of Glamorgan

Deb Bashford – Wheelchair Basketball/Gwynedd

 

Dr Paul Thomas, Chair of Sport Wales, commented:

“The importance of these volunteers and coaches can’t be overestimated. They are the heartbeat of sport in Wales and they deserve our thanks and recognition for the work do in getting people hooked on sport.

“It is such a hard task picking out finalists and winners for the Awards but their stories will be an inspiration and motivation for others.”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Wales, added:

“It’s great that these coaches are getting the recognition they clearly deserve. It’s fitting that they will share the spotlight with the stars of Welsh elite sport who wouldn’t have made it to the top without the  unseen efforts of volunteers and coaches, day in day out. I am sure it is going to be a fantastic night.”

For more information visit walessportawards.org.uk

#WSA2016

More information on the finalists

Volunteer of the Year

Delyth Jones – Swimming/Denbighshire

Delyth stepped in to lead the Denbigh Dragons through troubled waters. Holding the title of team manager she arranges competitions and galas, collects fees, organises the coaching rotas, pool hire and more. She helped raise £5,000 for one local initiative as part of her fundraising drive.

Chris Landon – Cycling/Cardiff

As well as being vice-chair of Welsh Cycling, Chris Landon uses his wealth of expertise to run national events and support clubs and commissaires across the country. He even stepped in to volunteer to fill a full-time job during a recruitment gap.

Debra Cavill – Gymnastics/Carmarthenshire

Coach, committee member, fundraiser, compere and more, Debra even washes the leotards by hand in her ‘secret’ washing powder. Debra runs the recreational programme at Llanelli Gymnastics Club and welcomes hundreds of children per week to the club.

Young Volunteer of the Year

Megan Curling – Gymnastics/Bridgend

The gold young ambassador for Bridgend has been a successful leadership mentor to her peers in the local area as well as volunteer coaching at a trampolining club. A year focussed on promoting sport for girls included a pitch to sponsors in London.

Joseph Jones – Multi-Sport/Conwy

Joseph’s life has been turned around through sport and he volunteers at countless Conwy Youth Service physical activity sessions and events. He helps run football in the community and has promoted a health project in a local school. This all on top of being a carer.

Gwenan Williams – Multi-Sport/Anglesey

A tireless life in sport sees Gwenan run sessions at her secondary school, a multi-sport session for local primary school children and a girls’ football competition. She also runs sessions at a local special school, coaches at a netball club and is part of the Anglesey community chest panel.

Community Coach of the Year

Mathew Lamb – Football/Pembrokeshire

Mathew is ‘Mr Fishguard Sports’ and has overseen a massive increase in junior participation – coaching over 75 girls at training each week, as well as the junior disability team. To add to his large workload he has also taken on the role of treasurer and vice-chairman at the club. Over the last year he has played a major role in the development of the new football pitch and facilities for the club.

Roddie Milne

Just a few years after establishing Llangollen Taekwondo Club, Roddie Milne is inspiring a new generation of North Wales taekwondo athletes. In the last 18 months, his competitors have won 46 medals across regional, national and international events. Some of his stable are even looking to make the step up to a Great Britain level.

Paul Crapper – Cycling/Monmouthshire

Paul has set the standard for community coaching in Wales, he coaches and promotes cyclo-cross and women’s cycling in the Abergavenny area with regular coaching sessions to introduce and develop riders of all ages and abilities. In recognition of his work to develop women’s cycling he was shortlisted for the Women’s Sport Trust ‘Be A Game Changer’ Awards.

Young Coach of the Year

Ieuan Davies – Hockey/Cardiff

Part of the Welsh age-group coaching team, Ieuan was part of a series win in Switzerland and was one of the youngest national coaches at the UK School Games. In his club role, Ieaun has set up a successful junior programme at Cardiff and Met Hockey Club, leading the coaching set-up and organising fixtures for the youth levels.

Jamie Evans – Gymnastics/Bridgend

Head Coach at Pencoed Gymnastic Tumbling Club in Bridgend, he took over the leadership when the club was at risk of closure. Working successfully across elite and recreational participation, the not-for-profit club is thriving with 50 members, with many of the children coming from disadvantaged areas in the county.

Daniel Johnsey – Swimming/Monmouthshire

Daniel has been volunteering at Newport Seals disability swimming club as a 1:1 volunteer to help young people engage in swimming. A key achievement this year has been his work to lead on a transition project engaging young people from a small disability specific gym class into the mainstream fitness suite at Caldicot Leisure Centre.

Coach to Disabled People of the Year

Bob Perry and Richard Plenty – Squash/Cardiff

Richard and Bob were instrumental in Rhiwbina Squash Club being awarded insport gold by Disability Sport Wales for their commitment to inclusion – one of only two clubs in Wales to achieve gold. Their work, including ensuring wider doors on the squash courts to allow sports wheelchair access, has been recognised in the World Squash Newsletter.

Emily Griffiths – Swimming/Vale of Glamorgan

A successful year for swimming coach Emily has seen her double the membership at the South Wales Titans Swimming Club and be selected as Assistant Swimming Coach for GB at the Invictus Games.

Deb Bashford – Wheelchair Basketball/Gwynedd

Deb’s work has seen her support disabled people to play sport and build a structure for disability sport in North Wales. As well as coaching Wales wheelchair basketball squads, she has been responsible for the development of Caernarfon Celts Wheelchair Basketball Club as Secretary and Head Coach.