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Ulster GAA and IFA join forces for top coaching award

By Robert Jones

An Irish FA and Ulster GAA sports programme has been crowned UK Coaching Intervention of the Year at the prestigious UK Coaching Awards in Glasgow.

The Curriculum Sports Programme was nominated for the award by Sport Northern Ireland after it was named Coaching Project of the Year at the Sport NI Coaching Awards in September.

The programme fought off stiff competition from Sport Scotland's Class of 2014 initiative and the Youth Sport Trust's National Young Coach Academy to claim the Coaching Intervention gong at a glittering evening in the City Chambers.

The programme, which is an innovative approach to coaching by the Irish Football Association and Ulster Gaelic Athletic Association, engages more than 600 primary schools across Northern Ireland's five education sectors. It also delivers physical literacy development opportunities to more than 30,000 young children each year.

The local success continued with Michael Bannon, who helped coach Rory McIlroy back to number one in the world and John Conlan, Head Coach to the successful Team NI boxers, were rewarded with a top five finish in the High Performance Coach of the Year category in Glasgow.

Sion Mills football coach Danny Gallagher, winner of both the North West and Sport NI Community Coach of the Year awards, was recognised as a finalist in the Gilette Community Coach of the Year category.

Tony McAllister, Head Coach of the British Disabled Ski Team was awarded the Mussabini medal for outstanding performances at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, including the Gold medal won by Sport NI sporting ambassador Kelly Gallagher.

Sport NI Chief Executive, Antoinette McKeown said: "This has been an incredible year for sport and I am delighted to see the outstanding work of the IFA and Ulster GAA curriculum coaches recognised at the very highest level. I congratulate all who contributed."

Belfast Telegraph


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