Top Scots in Running for Coach of the Year

September 18, 2019

Three outstanding individuals have been named as finalists for Coach of the Year at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards, with Shelley Kerr (Football), Donald McIntosh (Shooting) and Andy Young (Athletics) in the running for the prestigious award sponsored by the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

While Scotland’s star athletes thrill and inspire on the international stage, their success would not be possible without the dedication and expert knowledge of their coaches behind the scenes.

In 2019, Shelley Kerr paved the way for a sea-change moment for women’s sport in Scotland – leading the Scotland Women’s National Team to an historic first appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Shelley said that she wanted her side to inspire a nation and with 6.1 million people watching the opening game against England alone, Shelley and her players more than accomplished that goal.

Delighted to be named as a finalist, Shelley said: “To be nominated for the Coach of the Year Award is a massive honour and one I’m incredibly thankful for. 2019 was a memorable year for women’s football as a whole in the country and there are so many people who have contributed to that. To have more than 18,000 at Hampden Park for our send-off match, against Jamaica just showed how far women’s football has come in a short space of time.

“The World Cup was an incredible experience and one we’ll all learn from. The players showed they belonged on that stage and the next challenge is to ensure we continue to qualify for these major events.”

Donald McIntosh coached daughters Jen and Seonaid to Women’s 50m Prone team bronze at the World Championships alongside Great Britain team mate Zoe Bruce, with Seonaid going on to win Britain’s first ever individual gold at this event with a perfect final shot. A fantastic year was capped by Seonaid also securing an Olympic quota place for Tokyo 2020, winning three World Cup medals, including a first ever rifle gold for Britain and rising to World No.1 in the 50m 3 Positions event rankings.

Also shortlisted as a finalist for this award in 2017, Donald said: “I’m honoured to be nominated once more for this award, and with so many superb coaches working across a number of sports in Scotland at the moment.  Congratulations to all the other nominees and best of luck to them all!”

Andy Young is coach to world-class and Olympic athlete, Laura Muir as well as rising talent and GB International Jemma Reekie, Canadian international Gabriella Debues-Stafford and a host of other Scottish and GB international athletes. This year Laura cemented her reputation as one of the most formidable and fearless endurance athletes in the world by completing the double-double, defending her European Indoor titles over 800m and 1500m while Jemma’s progression has been remarkable, capped with the outstanding achievement of  an 800m and 1500m double at the European U23 Championships. In addition, Gabriella has set five Canadian records for Garbiella in the past 8 months.

“It’s nice to recognised in your home country for the work you do,” said Andy. “While often in the background, coaches, especially those in individual sports, often play a huge role in the performance you see on your TV, so it’s good to have their success highlighted.”

Congratulating the three finalists, Paul Bush OBE, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Behind each of our international athletes is an outstanding coach, and our three finalists represent the pinnacle of achievement, guiding their athletes to not just inspirational, but truly historic results at the year’s major championships. Recognition at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards is just reward for their huge contribution and I look forward to celebrating with them on 3 October.”

Sponsor of the Coach of the Year award, the EICC is one of the world’s outstanding venues for conferences and events, welcoming over 1.3 million delegates since it first opened its doors in 1995. EICC has played host to the Team Scottish Sports Awards since 2016 and will once again be the venue as winners across all award categories are crowned in a star-studded celebration of Scottish sport on 3 October.

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