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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-21-10

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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North West coaches announced as finalists for prestigious UK Coaching Awards

LEADING coaches from the North West of England, David Unsworth and Anna Jackson, have both been announced as finalists for the 2017 UK Coaching Awards. David Unsworth, a former England international footballer, has been nominated for Talent Development Coach of the Year whilst former GB Wheelchair Basketball star Anna Jackson is in the running for Disability Coach of the Year. Following a successful professional playing career with over 400 appearances at club and international level, David Unsworth is now focused on developing the next generation of talent and has dedicated his life to coaching. The 43 year old, most recognised for his time playing for Everton FC, currently holds roles at the club as manager of the Under 23 team, as well as the director of academy coaching. In this role, David is overseeing the academy's coaching and working on bridging the gap between the academy and first team.

Whilst focusing on leading the U23 squad, Unsworth has also played a significant part in the development of the Everton Ladies team, working alongside the ladies management team on standards and practises by holding coaching sessions with players and staff. He has also found time to support the club's official charity, Everton in the Community, by helping to devise the:- 'Home is Where The Heart Is' project and, alongside his U23 team, raising ₤230,000 to purchase a house for the young homeless community in Liverpool.

Similarly leading the way in coaching excellence in the North West is former GB Wheelchair Basketball star Anna Jackson, who holds multiple coaching roles including:- Head Coach and Founder of Cheshire Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club, Head Coach Wales U19 Wheelchair Basketball Team and Head Coach Angels of the North 1st Division Wheelchair Basketball Team.

Jackson won over 70 caps for the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball team, and played at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney. After retirement, Anna came across the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and worked with young people to help them fulfil their potential. This inspired her to give back, helping to inspire people with disabilities, through her story. She works hard to promote all three teams and supports the recruitment of players, coaches and volunteers as well as applying for funding and looking for sponsors etc. She is also a tutor and runs wheelchair basketball coaching courses to inspire the next generation of coaches.

Anna Jackson, Head Coach of Cheshire Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Club said:- "It's amazing, I'm really honoured. You do all the work for coaching for the love of it, but to be recognised is incredible. Seeing people develop, no matter how small the development is or gaining more confidence, that's what gives me a real buzz."

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer of UK Coaching said:- "It's a real pleasure to announce the names of the finalists for the 20th Anniversary of the UK Coaching Awards. In this special year for the Awards, we had an unprecedented amount of nominations across a multitude of sports and from every corner of the country. This diverse group of people put coaching at the heart of physical activity and sport, and make a difference in many walks of life. I look forward to celebrating their achievements."

The showpiece annual event; now in its 20th year; is seen as 1 of the most prestigious within the coaching community and will be held at The HAC, City of London, on Thursday, 30 November 2017. The principle of the Awards is to recognise the contribution coaches make in transforming lives across the UK. Previous winners include coaches making a huge difference in their community as well as the coaching elite working across a wide variety of sports on the world stage. Following a public nominations process, finalists have been selected by an expert judging panel for a total of 11 awards; eight for coaches and 3 in support of coaching.  Find out more about the event via the UK Coaching website.


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