British Rowing Awards: Coach of the Year winner

Congratulations to Florence Griffiths from Kingston Rowing Club – winner of our National Coach of the Year – and to all our coaching category winners!

Nominations for our overall Coach of the Year award were of an extremely high quality making the National Coaching Committee’s decision a tough one, with the winners in each category below:

  • Florence Griffiths – Club Performance
  • Pete Forrest – Club Development
  • Hugh Mackworth-Praed – Education Performance
  • Nigel Weare – Education Development
  • Novice Coaching Team at University of Leeds BC – Coaching Team

After great consideration, the Panel has awarded the Coach of the Year to Florence Griffiths from Kingston Rowing Club.

Her citation summarises…. a credit to her club, Florence took over as the lead coach of the Kingston junior squad in 2017 and runs a team of five professional and volunteer coaches. All the professional coaches probably put in twice the hours that they are paid for the love of the sport.

She has achieved outstanding results and is always cheerful and helpful to the club’s other squads.

Managing a large junior squad with associated safeguarding and safety procedures is challenging and Florence does this with great skill.

This year Kingston won over 50 titles locally and nationally and competed internationally. These athletes bring massive accolade to the borough and are often seen in their iconic bright red and white stripes.

Highlights included second place on the overall National Championships medal table, while two athletes represented the GB Rowing Team at the Junior Worlds in Tokyo.

Our four other category winners have also all made exceptional contributions to coaching at their clubs. Here are their citations…

Peter Forrest (Club Development, Peterborough City RC)

Since joining Peterborough City Rowing Club in 2007, Peter Forrest has advanced from doing a learn to row course to being a Level 3 Coach and Coach Educator.

Chair of Rowing, Peter oversees all aspects of rowing and equipment with every sector of the membership from juniors, seniors, masters and U3A.

Peter encouraged the involvement of U3A within the club and they have become stalwart members contributing significantly to Peterborough City.

Always trying to develop the sport for the community, last year he taught Kate Lindgren to scull. Kate is blind and Peter has pioneered systems enabling him to talk directly to Kate through an earpiece.

Peter has contributed significantly at all levels within the sport and is not just coach of the year but coach of many years!

Hugh Mackworth-Praed (Education Performance)

Hugh has been an exceptional schoolboy coach for the past 15 years starting out at Pangbourne College, then spending the last 11 years teaching maths and coaching at Shiplake College.

In recent years Hugh has had outstanding success coaching the Shiplake College first eight, his notable successes are winning the Child Beale trophy in 2015 for the first time in Shiplake College’s history.

A full-time teacher, in charge of the school timetabling and an academic form tutor, Hugh still finds time to train most days and regularly races his single scull. Rowing is very much in his DNA and it is his passion rather than a job to him.

Nigel Weare (Education Development)

Pupils at The Langley Academy (TLA), a state-school in Slough, wished to nominate Nigel for this award. Each individual told me why he deserves it, so I’ve written this nomination with all of their thoughts.

“Nigel Weare has been nothing but an inspiration to me, not only as a rower but as a human.”

Nigel offers both indoor and outdoor rowing at school, and Dorney Lake. Eighteen students recently went to the South of England Indoors, where 15 pupils won a medal, and 14 achieved a personal best.

He gives the students opportunities they would never experience without rowing, through socialising, competition and bonding as a team.

Nigel has not only been a rowing coach, but an inspiration.

“He never gives up on me.”

It is clear Nigel has great impact on so many children’s lives, allowing them to strive to reach their potential.

Novice Coaching Team at University of Leeds BC (Coaching Team)

The University of Leeds BC Coaching Team is the true heart of the boat club, specifically for the novice squad.

Their willingness to help, support, and teach everyone at the club is remarkable. Head Coach Dan Grant is at the centre – from fixing boats, 6am training sessions, individual athlete performance meetings and coxing steering basics, he also provides guidance to the Coaching Scholars through mentoring sessions, further supporting the novice squad.

The Coaching Scholars run weekly running, erg, circuits and water sessions for novice athletes. Senior Performance athletes also volunteer alongside their 10 training sessions a week.

Supported by coaching coordinator Natasha, coaches feel confident and are well prepared for every session.

The Coaching Team’s devotion enables more individuals to join and experience rowing.


Thanks to the National Coaching Committee for their time selecting all our coaching award category winners – and congratulations to everyone.

We are celebrating the winners of the British Rowing Awards 2020 all the way up until 31 December so please keep and eye out for other winners #BRAwards2020

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