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British Canoeing win two honours at UK Coaching Awards

British Canoeing have won two awards at the prestigious 2018 UK Coaching Awards, held in London.

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British Canoeing - Coaching Culture Organisation of the Year

Matt Lawrence - High Performance Coach of the Year

A judging panel, consisting of experts from the coaching, sport and physical activity sector, deliberated from a record amount of nominations to select 33 finalists across 11 categories, recognising their great coaching achievements over the last 12 months.

British Canoeing picked up the award for Coaching Culture Organisation of the Year, after a transformational 12 months.

With support from current research, modern developments in facilitating learning and consumer feedback, a recent review of the educational programmes highlighted the need for change.

This change instigated a ‘ground up ‘approach to building a new coaching system for British Canoeing, working towards a culture change and embedding a new educational philosophy that underpins everything from fundamental approaches, attitudes and behaviours of coaches to the mechanisms that learners access in order to develop and construct their own learning journey. 


Lee Pooley, Head of Coaching and Qualifications at British Canoeing said:

“We are just delighted to win, we've worked really hard to get to this point. This is an organisational drive, with staff, members and the paddling community and this is testament to the hard work and engagement of our great coaching community.”


Matt Lawrence won the second award of the night for British Canoeing to claim the High Performance Coach of the Year accolade.

Matt is the podium technical coach to a squad of six paracanoe athletes. He is one of the leading paracanoe coaches in the world and he has coached his athletes to a wealth of international medals, including Emma Wiggs’ World Championship gold.

In the last 12 months his squad has won eight international medals, including six gold and made an additional five international finals.   

Speaking about his award Matt Lawrence said:

“I’m overwhelmed to win this. It's an absolute privilege to be part of the British paracanoe programme.  I've worked with a fantastic team of coaches, support staff and athletes and I've learnt something from every one of them.”

Slalom coach Craig Morris was also shortlisted for the High Performance Coach of the Year.

In the past 12 months, Craig has coached his athletes to a significant number of medals on the international canoe slalom circuit, with all of his paddlers taking home medals from the 2018 World Championships including Mallory Franklin’s haul of four.

British Canoeing Performance Director Paul Ratcliffe said:

"I am delighted for Matt and this award. It is well-deserved after another fantastic year for him, his athletes and the team.

"To have two coaches shortlisted in this competitive category is great for the sport and we are proud of both Matt and Craig."

British Canoeing received five nominations for the UK Coaching Awards.  

Chris Brain was shortlisted for Coach Developer of the Year. Chris has been involved as a front line Coach Developer for more than eight years, working closely in the development of coaches, from early activators enthusing individuals new to the sport through to Performance Coaches working with high-level athletes.

Dave Rossetter was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dave has been coaching for more than 20 years and his vast experiences has helped to inspire countless paddlers to achieve their ambitions and potential in a variety of paddling situations.

Full details of the Awards can be found on the UK Coaching website.

British Canoeing nominations

High Performance Coach of the Year Matt Lawrence (Paracanoe) Craig Morris (Canoeing) Tracey Neville MBE (Netball)

Lifetime Achievement Award Dave Rossetter (Canoeing) Fred Furniss (Swimming) Peter Stanley (Athletics)

Coach Developer of the Year Chris Brain (Canoeing) Patricia Quirke (Cycling) Richard Cheetham MBE (Multi-sport)

Coaching Culture Organisation of the Year British Canoeing Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy Youth Sport Trust