National coaching award for PhD student

A University of Wolverhampton PhD student has clinched a national coaching award.

Russel Smith, who is also Chair of the University’s Institute of Sport Advisory Group, received the Coach Developer of the Year Award 2017.

Rus, who received the award at the UK Coaching Awards on Thursday, was recognised for his efforts in helping to shape the future of sports coaching.

Speaking after the event, Rus, who is Senior Tutor People Developer & Network (Black Country) at StreetGames, said: “Winning this award is amazing, not just for me but for all of the people who give up their time to help young people in the StreetGames Network.

“The work that we do to train and develop young people is important, not just because it provides coaching skills, but also because it gives our coaches the people skills they need to create healthier, happier communities.”

This year’s ceremony was held at the prestigious Honourable Artillery Company venue in London, and marked the 20th anniversary of the event.

Rus claimed the prize for his work with StreetGames in developing coaches, staff and volunteers among some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, reaching over 1000 learners in the last 12 months alone.

One key element of Rus’ success was his creation of the ‘Coach-Mate Connector’ programme, which emphasises trust, respect and personal support alongside more formal training methods.  The programme aims to improve access to coach development opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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