Oli Woodcock, an RYA coach for the Junior and Youth windsurfing
programme and Skandia Team GBR RS:X Development Squad, has
been awarded Performance Development Coach of the Year at the
2011 UK Coaching Awards, hosted by Sports Coach UK at the Carlton
Tower, London (Tuesday 29th November).
The UK Coaching Awards honour sports coaches and coaching organisations who have demonstrated outstanding success over the previous 12 months. The annual event is seen as one of the most prestigious within the industry as it raises the profile of coaches and the role they play in encouraging participation, performance and excellence within sport.
Woodcock, 29, from Worcestershire has been a high performance coach for the RYA for over eight years and has most recently been recognised for his dedication and commitment to the RYA’s Youth and Junior windsurfing programme. Woodcock’s passion for the sport of Windsurfing continues to feed the Olympic programme with keen, motivated and exceptionally capable sailors.
Over the past 12 months, Woodcock has lead his young charges to success at the highest level, including a total of 21 medals in the RYA Volvo Youth & Junior programmes. Success has been achieved at the Junior Worlds, Youth Worlds and Europeans and the International Sailing Federation Youth Worlds. At these events, he coached the athletes to not only an impressive medal tally, but more importantly ensured that the young windsurfers had inspiring, positive and insightful experiences at these major international regattas.
Some of this year’s outstanding performances have come at the 2011 Techno 293 Windsurfing World Championships in San Francisco, USA, which saw RYA National Junior Squad sailors Kieran Martin, Saskia Sills, and Emma Wilson secure a treble of gold medals. Following this success, Woodcock marched onto Cagliari, Sardinia with his army of elite athletes to secure a staggering six medals at the 2011 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships in October.
On winning the 2011 Performance Development Coach of the Year Award, Woodcock said: “It’s absolutely amazing to have won this award and a great achievement for me as a coach. It’s incredible to get this sort of recognition for windsurfing within the wider sporting world. It was at first a shock when I was nominated by the RYA but then to go on and make the shortlist and now win is completely mind-blowing. It is extremely special and most definitely a career highlight.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have supported me over the years including all the coaches and support staff at the RYA who make my life a lot easier, as well as the CPD programme. A massive thank you to all the sailors who allow me to share my passion of windsurfing, engage and coach to my full potential. Overall the support which I have received from everyone has been brilliant,” said Woodcock.
“This year’s medal tally has been incredible and a huge amount of credit must go to the young sailors who have achieved such great things. I have been working with the same group of sailors for the past five years so it’s great to see all their hard work and dedication pay off with medals on the international stage. It has been a long yet fun process and I am extremely proud of what my young group of sailors have turned into and am sure they will go onto great things when involved in the Olympic programme.”
Woodcock concluded: “The award is great recognition for the sport and the success over the past year has now put windsurfing well and truly on the map in the world of sailing. I’m looking forward to sharing my passion, commitment and knowledge of such a great sport with many more young sailors in the years to come.”
Commenting on Woodcock’s achievement, David Mellor, RYA Coaching Development Manager, said: “Oli’s achievements as a coach have been stunning and the results over the last 12 months have been the icing on the cake following a lot of hard work and dedication. Oli’s right approach at the right time plus his method of coaching ensures his process is personal to the athlete and is without doubt the key to his success. He constantly analyses his coaching and looks for new and fresh approaches to ensure that he is always at the cutting edge of world-class coaching.
“Oli is a pleasure to work with and fully commits to the RYA coach development programme, we are looking forward to having him feed his knowledge and skills back into the programme for the benefit of our future coaches,” concluded Mellor.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Volvo Youth Racing Manager, added: “I am delighted to see Oli get the recognition he so deserves after working so hard to develop his skills for a number of years within the RYA Coaching system, it is easy as an individual to be satisfied with the status quo and not strive for the greatness we demand of our athletes – Oli has always worked hard to keep sharpening his own skills whilst also pushing for developments in the UK windsurfing scene.
“Great coaches create successful environments and winning cultures, Oli has helped to shape our training structures and that of competition Windsurfing in the UK to create the platform for our young sailors to succeed on the world stage,” said Truswell.
In addition to Oli Woodcock, the RYA also had a further two coaches shortlisted for a UK Coaching Award. Skandia Team GBR Finn coach Matt Howard was shortlisted for High-performance Coach of the Year while Peter Walker who coaches Skandia Team GBR Laser sailors was also up for