Football, rowing and rugby union are represented as the 2015 Coach of the Year shortlist is revealed.
Chris Coleman, Robin Williams and Warren Gatland have been picked out for achievements in 2015, with one of the high performance coaches to be named Coach of the Year at Wales Sport Awards 2015.
Under manager Chris Coleman, Wales have become a dominant force in European football and entered the top 10 of the FIFA standings for the first time ever following a win over second world-ranked Belgium in June. Under his stewardship, the squad reached the final of a major championships for the first time since 1958 and will compete against the major nations of European football at France 2016.
2015 saw Robin Williams lead Heather Stanning and Helen Glover to a second World Championship gold medal in the women’s pair event, the culmination of a 4-year unbeaten run for Helen Glover including an Olympic gold and two world titles. Following this, Glover – who rose to the top of the female rowing world rankings – and Stanning were named as Female Crew of the Year by rowing’s governing body, FISA.
With a Rugby World Cup squad decimated by injuries, Warren Gatland masterminded an historic win against hosts England at Twickenham and steered Wales through the toughest group of the tournament. A try in the final minutes of their quarter final versus South Africa denied them a famous semi-final spot.
Professor Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales commented:
“All teams and talented individuals need a high quality coach and support teams to guide them towards their goals, and the importance of coaching in elite sport is something that is always highlighted.”
“These are three very special coaches, championed within their sports, and they rightly deserve their place at the very pinacle of Welsh sporting excellence.”
“Comparing such top level achievements across different sports is always such a difficult task. Even outside of the three finalists we have a raft of coaches whose success in 2015 is a source of great pride for Welsh sport.”
Head of Sport at BBC Wales, Geoff Williams added:
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity of showcasing three outstanding coaches who have achieved so much this year. They can all be proud of their achievements.”
The Coach of the Year shortlist was decided by the Wales Sport Awards judging panel, a panel of sport experts including: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Frankie Jones; Chair Sport Wales, Laura McAllister; Paralympic Athlete Pippa Britton; Head of Sport, BBC Wales, Geoff Williams; Sport Journalist, Carolyn Hitt; Young Ambassador, Nia Weaver and Chair of UK Coaching Committee, Bev Smith.
The winner of the Coach of the Year will be announced at the Wales Sport Awards 2015 on Monday, December 7, at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff.
For more information visit www.walessportawards.org.uk