Stanton & Kirby share UK Coach awardSubscribe
Shelly Beresford 20 November 2002
Alex Stanton - coach to marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe - has been named UK Coach of the Year 2002, sharing the award with Amanda Kirby, coach to the British gymnastics squad.
Both coaches were honoured on Wednesday at the Café Royal in London at a ceremony organised by sports coach UK.
Stanton wins the accolade for the second time in as many years and receives his award in the same week that Radcliffe was voted female athlete of the year by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
In a remarkable year, the 28-year-old from Bedford has established herself as one of athletics’ premier distance runners.
Having successfully defender her world cross country title in Ireland, Radcliffe went on to win the London Marathon in her first ever race over the distance, setting a new European record in the process. Gold medals followed at the Commonwealth Games (5,000m) and European Championships (10,000m) over the summer before she won the Chicago Marathon in October – smashing the old world record by a massive 89 seconds.
"To be awarded this honour for a second time is a great honour, especially as I don’t see coaching as a job, just a lovely hobby," said Stanton, who has coached Radcliffe since she was 15 with the continued backing of his wife, Rosemary.
"Paula’s had a fantastic year – she has worked hard and is now reaping the rewards. I’m proud to be a part of that."
Fellow UK Coach of the Year Award winner, Amanda Kirby, has guided the British gymnastics squad to an unprecedented period of success, which began with Beth Tweddle’s bronze medal on the asymmetric bars at the European Championships in April and continued with an array of medals for home country gymnasts at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Both winners have benefited from the UK Sports Institute’s World Class Coaching Programme over the course of the year.
Nominated by UK Athletics as part of their 'High Flyer Coaching Group’, Stanton recently underwent a profiling session with a member of the UK Sports Institute’s coaching team, designed to identify areas where support is needed and come up with appropriate, tailored solutions.
Kirby has also been profiled and will soon be commencing a mentoring programme that has been set up to support her in her coaching development. It is part of a wider two-year initiative to provide support to 15 World Class gymnastics coaches up to and including the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Ten coaches were also inducted into sports coach UK’s Coaching Hall of Fame on Wednesday: John Anderson (Athletics), Michael Hay (Curling), Russell Keiller (Curling), Wilf Paish (Athletics), John Jacobs (Golf), Doug Dailey (Cycling), Jenny Bott (Rhythmic Gymnastics), Penny Chuter (Rowing), Adrian Stan (Artistic Gymnastics) and Ray Williams (Rugby Union).