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The British Baseball & Softball Coaching Awards

Coaching awards on tableThe Fourth Annual Coaching Awards will once again follow the Coach Summit, providing an opportunity to recognise the hard work and expertise of coaches and volunteers in the British baseball and softball communities.  The 2019 Coach Summit will take place on Saturday 26 January at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre in Milton Keynes.

The following awards are available:

  • Young Coach of the Year: The coach aged 22 or younger deemed to have made the biggest contribution to coaching, managing and supporting baseball and/or softball in Britain in 2018.
  • Baseball Youth Coach of the Year: Outstanding contribution to coaching young people in baseball in Britain.
  • Softball Youth Coach of the Year: Outstanding contribution to coaching young people in softball in Britain.
  • Baseball Adult Coach of the Year: Outstanding contribution to adult baseball coaching in Britain.
  • Softball Adult Coach of the Year: Outstanding contribution to adult softball coaching in Britain.
  • Volunteer of the Year: A volunteer in a non-coaching role who has given up a substantial amount of time to support their local club, team or league and who has made a significant impact on the development of our sports.
  • Services to Coaching: the individual who best personifies what it means to be a baseball or softball coach: someone who understands their sport and can use the lessons learned on the pitch to motivate and engage others. He or she has probably played a great number of roles, and without their services to coaching, your club, your league or perhaps even your national teams wouldn’t be the same.

To nominate a coach, please use the form below. 2019 nominees will be shortlisted on this page.

Fill out the online form.

Group photo of the 2018 coaching awards winners


Previous winners - 2018


Young Coach of the Year

Will ZuckerThis award is for the coach aged 22 or younger deemed to have made the biggest contribution to coaching, managing and supporting baseball and/or softball in Britain in 2017.

WINNER: Will Zucker

Since arriving at Durham University, Will has worked tirelessly to establish the university’s baseball club, working with both international and UK students.  The club entered two teams in the National University Baseball Championship in its first season before winning the title in at the Autumn 2016 event.  

Others shortlisted were Dan Patterson of the University of Reading Softball Club and Sian Wigington, a young member of the GB Women’s Fastpitch Team player pool who served as an Assistant Coach for the GB Under-16 Girls Fastpitch Team in 2017 and also helped coach and organize a new team in the Great Britain Fastpitch League.


Baseball Youth Coach of the Year

Chris StevensonThis award is for an outstanding contribution to coaching young people in baseball in Britain.

WINNER: Chris Stevenson

Chris led the Brighton Baseball Club Minors to the National Championship title in 2017, developing his players’ skills and love for baseball through his Kids Positive Coaching Code.  His enthusiasm and knowledge as Head Coach enabled him to develop both individual skills and team cohesion through effective and interactive coaching sessions.

Others shortlisted were Drew Spencer from the London Mets Baseball Club and Jeff Whitworth, Coaching Coordinator for the London Youth Baseball League.


Softball Youth Coach of the Year

David MorrisThis award is for an outstanding contribution to coaching young people in softball in Britain.

WINNER: David Morris

David has been instrumental in developing youth fastpitch softball at the Chichester Falcons Softball Club.  He has inspired and enthused many young players to develop their skills, running training sessions and organising tournaments for them to play in, as well as taking local players to play in the Great Britain Fastpitch League at Farnham Park. 

Others shortlisted were Mark Saunders & Lewis Chapman, who have built up a large softball programme at Archway School in Stroud; Julie Spittle, long-time coach and manager with the GB Under-13 Girls Fastpitch Team; and mother and daughter Joss and Laura Thompson for their work with their local team, the Towcester Tigers, and as Assistant Coaches with the GB Under-16 Girls Fastpitch Team.


Baseball Adult Coach of the Year

Paul RanceThis award is given for an outstanding contribution to adult baseball coaching in Britain.

WINNER: Paul Rance.

Northants Baseball Club has gone from strength to strength over recent years with Paul as club President.  Last year, however, with the growth of the club’s committee and the success of its facility development project, Paul was able to step back from some of the club administration and dedicate more time to coaching.  This led to the Centurions winning the Single-A Central Division title and qualifying for the National Baseball Championships for the first time. 

Others shortlisted were James Moran from the Birmingham Bandits Baseball Club and Jonathon Cramman, who led the London Mets to the National Baseball League title in his first full season as Team Manager.


Softball Adult Coach of the Year

Rachael WatkeysThis award is for an outstanding contribution to adult softball coaching in Britain.

WINNER: Rachael Watkeys.

The Great Britain Women’s Fastpitch Team Head Coach, through hard work and excellent leadership, Rachael successfully coached the GB Women’s Team to the bronze medal at the European Women’s Championship in 2017 in Italy, enabling the team to qualify for the 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship in Japan. 

Others shortlisted were Eric Lukazewski from the Reading Blue Sox Softball Club and Nigel Peters, who coaches, manages, administers and plays for the Misfits Softball Club in the East Midlands League.


Volunteer of the Year

Simon MortimerThis award is for a volunteer in a non-coaching role who has given up a substantial amount of time to support their local club, team or league and who has made a significant impact on the development of our sports.

WINNER: Simon Mortimer

Simon has been Team Manager for the GB Women’s Team since 2016 and before that filled the same role with the GB Under-19 Women’s Team, and his planning and communication skills have been exceptional.   Simon also acts as Treasurer for the Great Britain Management Committee, and has overseen the development of a programme to supply high-quality uniforms and team clothing to all GB Softball National Teams.

Others shortlisted were Bruce Alan, Chair of the fast-growing Urmston Softball Club in Manchester, and David Wareham, who has been active in the Manchester Softball League in various roles for the past 20 years.


Services to Coaching

Paul VernonThis award is made to the individual who best personifies what it means to be a baseball or softball coach: someone who understands their sport and can use the lessons learned on the pitch to motivate and engage others. He or she has probably played a great number of roles, and without their services to coaching, your club, your league or perhaps even your national teams wouldn’t be the same.

WINNER: Paul Vernon.

Paul was given the award for 20+ years of coaching baseball and softball at all levels in the UK.  Although originally focused on baseball with Bracknell and Great Britain, Paul has dedicated himself in recent years to the Bracknell Scorchers Softball Club.  He has worked with both Major League Baseball and BaseballSoftballUK, has served on the BBF Board, and has been seen as a voice of reason in the sports for the decades during which he has touched the lives of many players and coaches.

Others shortlisted were David Lee, who has been involved as a player and coach for many years with the Bristol Softball League and the GB Slowpitch Team programme, and Ryan Turtill, an inspirational figure within the London Mets Baseball and Softball Club.

 

Previous winners - 2017

Young Coach of the Year

Callum Vinall profile pictureThis award was for the coach under the age of 22 deemed to have made the biggest contribution to coaching, managing and supporting baseball and/or softball in the UK in 2016. 

WINNER:  Callum Vinall
Callum has excelled in coaching at the BSUK Academy, Northants Baseball Club and newly-formed Northampton University Baseball, and has also umpired this past year at the National University Baseball Championships.


 


Youth Coach of the Year

Robin Banerjee profile picThis award was given for outstanding contributions to coaching young people in baseball and/or softball in the UK. 

JOINT WINNERS:  Jared Hendrickson & Robin Banerjee
Jared and Robin have put a huge amount of energy, dedication and determination into building a new youth team from the ground up at Brighton Baseball Club.  Many of the boys and girls they worked with had never played baseball before, but under their coaching and leadership the Brighton U11s were national runners-up and the U13s did exceptionally well in challenging established teams. 

 


Participation Coach of the Year

Linni Mitchell profile picThis award was for the coach who has engaged new participants, not in a traditional club setting but within BSUK national programmes and/or participation projects. 

WINNER:  Linni Mitchell
Linni has worked in the North West and beyond since April 2013 to increase participation in baseball and softball, and has not only helped to deliver a wide range of projects, ensuring that new athletes continue to engage in our sports over the long term, but has also been involved with their planning and funding. 

 


Community Coach of the Year

Mike Lott profile picThis award was for the coach who has done the most during the past year to develop softball within a club environment.

WINNER:  Mike Lott
Mike is a founding member of the Crosby Vikings Softball Club and is an enthusiastic and patient coach.  The Vikings were formed in 2014 as the fifth team in the Sefton Softball League, with predominantly new players, and Mike's hard work paid off in 2015 when the team won the league title, then went on to compete in National Championships in 2016 and were bronze medal winners in their grade of play.

 


Coach of the Year

Liam Carroll profile pictureThis award was made to the individual who best personifies what it means to be a baseball or softball coach: someone who understands their sport and can use the lessons learned on the field to motivate and engage others.

WINNER:  Liam Carroll
Liam has transformed the Great Britain Baseball National Team programme and taken it to a place it has never been before.  In 2016 he steered the team to the final of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Brooklyn, where one more win would have earned the team its first-ever berth in the Classic itself.

 


Volunteer of the Year

This award was for a volunteer in a non-coaching role who has given up a substantial amount of time to support their local club, team or league and who has made a significant impact on the development of our sports.

WINNER:  David Jones
David Jones is a true Renaissance Man of volunteering.  On the Guildford Mavericks Board, he serves as the Child Protection Officer, Umpire Coordinator and Kit Manager.  But his service doesn't stop there: David has extended his passion into umpiring and coaching for the club, and in 2016 took on the responsibility of successfully steering the Guildford through Clubmark accreditation. 


Umpire of the Year

This award was made for contributions to baseball and/or softball umpiring during the past year by an umpire who has not only upheld the laws correctly, but contributed to the positive atmosphere we have in our baseball and softball leagues.

WINNER:  Bridget Cameron
Bridget has shown outstanding commitment to the development of fastpitch softball umpiring, both locally and internationally.  During the Great Britain Fastpitch League season, she flew from Edinburgh to London for four of the five GBFL competition weekends where she umpired or examined every game, and she also serves as BASU’s Fastpitch Officer.



Previous winners - 2016

Community Coach of the Year

WINNER: Kal Dimitrov 
This award is for the coach who best embodies the spirit of grassroots sport and who has engaged new participants and welcomed them into their club, team or league. Through their work in their community, such coaches ensure the development and growth of baseball and softball – not just today but in years to come.     

 

Young Coach of the Year

WINNER: Matt Tomlin 
This award is for an up-and-coming coach, aged 22 or under, who has demonstrated a particular interest and ability in coaching.
 

 

Youth Coach of the Year

WINNER: Matt Crawshaw
This award is for a coach who has demonstrated outstanding ability to engage and work with children and young people. The winner will be a coach who has made children of all ages welcome and excited about the sports of baseball and/or softball, as well as teaching them the skills needed to develop and reach their full potential both on and off the field.

 

Coach of the Year

WINNER: Erick Henson
This award is for the individual who best personifies what it means to be a baseball or softball coach: someone who understands the sport(s) but, critically, can use the lessons learned on the field to motivate and engage others.

 
 
 
 
 
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