Coach of the Year 2008
Coach Patrick McKillop has received the top honour at the Sport Northern Ireland Coach of the Year awards. Patrick who is coach to the current world Paralympic 800m champion and the 1500m silver medallist Michael McKillop, was presented with the Performance Athlete Coach Award and named overall Coach of the Year at the gala ceremony at the University of Ulster on Tuesday night.
Present at the awards sponsored by Podium4Sport were 15 finalist Coaches who had been nominated in the categories of Youth Sport, Young Athlete Development, Performance Sport, Disability and Lifetime Contribution. MC for the evening was BBC’s Mark Sidebottom and Northern Ireland Football Manager Nigel Worthington presented Patrick with the Performance Athlete and Overall Coach of the Year Awards.
Speaking on the night Eamonn McCartan Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland commented: “We have heard amazing examples of commitment and dedication of time and energy to others this evening. I hope all of the finalists, and indeed the many more coaches who were nominated, feel suitably proud of the important role they play in sport.”
On receiving his awards Patrick said: “I didn’t know my fellow coach, Stephen Rooney, had nominated me so when Sport Northern Ireland phoned to say I was a finalist I was totally shocked, but very honoured. I am not involved in coaching for an award, but it is it is a privilege to be here tonight along with other coaches and to be recognised for the work we do.”
Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive, Eamonn McCartan went on to thank Podium4Sport and the judging panel for helping deliver the awards, “The number and quality of entries was superb and my thanks go to BBC Sport and the Belfast Telegraph for their help in creating excitement. Coaches would say their hard work pays off when they see their athletes improve their personal best, or score more points – they don’t expect accolades - but these awards are a terrific way to showcase how rewarding coaching can be and I would encourage more people to get involved in coaching. I would also like to thank the University of Ulster for hosting the awards ceremony and for their continued partnership.”
Other Category Winners:
Youth Sport, Joe Norwood, Football. Award presented by Paul Rothwell, Podium4Sport and Michael McGeehin, Director of National Coaching Training Centre
Young Athlete Development, Dr Ian Walker, Volleyball. Award presented by Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster, Professor Richard Barnett and Richard Callicott, President Volleyball England
Disability, Gerard McAnulty, GAA. Award presented by Frances Kavanagh, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland.
Lifetime Contribution, Jim Nelson, GAA. Award presented by Nickey Brennan, President, GAA and Eamonn McCartan, Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland.