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Four Welsh nominees at the 2023 UK Coaching Awards

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The UK Coaching Awards celebrate coaches from across the UK who are doing brilliant and inspiring work to support their communities through sport. The winners of each category will be revealed at their awards ceremony on Tuesday 5 December.

This year, four Welsh coaches have been recognised in three different categories for their dedication to coaching. 

Find out more about the nominees below.

Gwilym Iolo Lewis – Change a Life Award

Gwilym’s love of rugby turned to a passion for coaching at Llanelli Warriors RFC, where he’s been making a real difference to players on and off the pitch every week for over twenty years. 

Llanelli Warriors welcome adults of all abilities to take part, and a wide range of players with learning disabilities and physical disabilities have found a home at the club. 

Gwilym was nominated for this Change a Life Award for his support of a player with learning difficulties. The player has been able to progress at the club, becoming captain and qualifying to become a Level 1 coach. 

Gwilym Iolo Lewis
Gwilym Iolo Lewis

Tara Edwards – Community Coach of the Year (Children and Young People)

As Community and Outreach Manager for Valleys Gymnastics Academy, Tara supports her local community in overcoming barriers to get involved with sport and physical activity. 

Children and young people living within deprived communities often don’t have the same sporting opportunities available to them, so Tara’s work is focused on ensuring that these children get the same chances as their peers.

Her work has also involved collaboration with StreetGames, a Sport Wales national partner dedicated to transforming young people’s lives through sport.

Tara said: “The fact that I have been nominated for Community Coach of the Year award overwhelms me and makes me incredibly proud. Not only was I surprised to be shortlisted, but I was also surprised to be making the finals. I’m glad to be able to support and give back to the community where I grew up. 

“It means the world to me that my work is acknowledged and appreciated.”

Tara Edwards in a gymnastics class
Tara Edwards

Luke Carpenter – Community Coach of the Year (Children and Young People)

A second nomination for Valleys Gymnastics Academy makes it clear that the club are prioritising their community.

Luke is Head of General Gymnastics at the club and dedicates his time to making sure every child and young person that comes to the club gets the coaching they deserve. 

Luke’s role includes supporting their young leaders to develop their skills in the sport. His work with young people is rooted in a passion for ensuring participants feel supported and valued.

Luke said: “I  am thankful to those who took the time to nominate me for the award and am proud to represent our Welsh gymnastic community at a national sporting event. 

“I’m lucky to work with so many fantastic gymnasts and I  love engaging so many local children in sport.”

Luke Carpenter
Luke Carpenter

Daniel Knight – Young Coach of the Year

Daniel Knight is Assistant Head Coach of Dragons Wheelchair Rugby in Pontypool. The club pride themselves on offering opportunities to individuals with physical disabilities to get active and socialise with others in their community.

Daniel has been involved with Dragons Wheelchair Rugby since they first started in 2019, having been involved in the initial trial. Since then, he’s used his position to encourage, inspire and empower players to be the best they can be on and off the pitch.

Players say that his coaching has helped them build confidence and created a feeling of camaraderie in the team.

Daniel said: “It is a huge honour to be considered for this award, something that came a massive surprise. Being able to coach wheelchair rugby for Dragons is a privilege. I’m very fortunate to coach a fantastic group of people on a weekly basis.”

Daniel Knight coaching a wheelchair rugby session
Daniel Knight

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