A schoolteacher is celebrating after taking home a top coaching award – which he didn’t know he had been nominated for.
Royal Yachting Association national coach Martin Boatman was named Performance Development Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards at a special ceremony at Holiday Inn, Wembley.
The 32-year-old, from Washington, has been working with young sailors in the Laser 4.7 sailing class, even taking a group to the European Championships.
He was presented with the honour by HRH The Princess Royal.
The UK Coaching Awards is an annual celebration, organised by Sports Coach UK, honouring coaches and organisations who have achieved outstanding success in the previous 12 months.
A shocked Martin said: “I didn’t even realise I had been nominated, my bosses did it without my knowledge then rang me a couple of months ago to get some video pieces of me coaching.
“You don’t coach for the accolades, you do it because you enjoy it and you love what you do.
“With each squad we’re looking to get them onto that next stage of development, and while we’re only one part of that, it’s important for us to get that right.”
Martin’s work has also included getting more girls involved with sailing, with the Laser 4.7 class among the toughest to compete in in the world.
With the success of Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic Games stars growing, the importance of coaching across both genders is now higher than ever.
“I started coaching 10 years ago at a regional level and then a national level and took on a girls’ squad to try and get a 50/50 gender split which is something we’re really pushing for,” he added.
“The biggest change from a few years ago is the psychological difference, we’re really thinking about our coaching and what makes our athletes so successful, and that’s where the girls are flourishing.”
Find out more about coaching at www.sportscoachuk.org.