Mel Marshall of City of Derby picked up the top gong at the annual British Swimming Coaches Association awards in Leeds last night as she was named Coach of the Year on the back of a stellar 12 months for her young charge Adam Peaty.
Peaty, coached by Marshall since he was 14, made huge strides in 2014, delivering on the potential he had shown last year to pocket Commonwealth and European titles over 100m breaststroke, the European title and world record in the 50m breaststroke, and a hatful of relay medals to boot. He ends the year ranked number 1 in the world in both individual events.
Another young swimmer who caught the attention at the Commonwealth Games was Daniel Jervis whose coach Adam Baker of City of Swansea was rewarded with the Youth Coach of the Year award. Jervis sliced huge chunks from his 1500m personal best this year, and capped it all off with a memorable closing burst to steal bronze in that event in Glasgow.
The Alan Hime Memorial Award is given to a coach new to the international scene and this year the recipient was Sean Balmer of Cockermouth SC, coach to Luke Greenbank, European Junior Champion over 200m backstroke this year. Greenbank outshone his senior rivals, ending the year as the top ranked British man in that event.
The top Para-swimming award for Coach of Year went to Rob Greenwood, the GB national head coach, after another successful year for the team.
No fewer than 7 Coaching Awards of Excellence were also given, the recipients being Kevin Renshaw, Patrick Miley, James Gibson, Ben Higson, Jon Rudd, Dave McNulty and Richard Denigan, all of whom coached swimmers to Commonwealth and European podium places this year. The equivalent coaching Award of Excellence for para-swimming went to Beckenham’s Tony Beckley, coach of Susie Rodgers who picked up five golds at the IPC European Championships.
Finally, The George Bole Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to Swimming Coaching in Great Britain was given to Terry Denison MBE, former head coach at City of Leeds and a longstanding member of the British team coaching staff.
Banner image courtesy GBSwimstars