A coach who works tirelessly to develop the next generation of swimming talent has had her dedication recognised after being named sportscotland Performance Development Coach of the Year.
Danielle Brayson, an assistant coach at Glasgow City Swim Team, looks after high-performance swimmers aged 13 to 18.
She has been recognised for the outstanding development of the junior and para squad, which has led to a raft of national team selections, medals and records.
Her success in the pool was matched only by her commitment to the swimmers’ wellbeing. Danielle was commended for combining empathy, understanding, flexibility and discipline to motivate her swimmers and help them balance swimming commitments with their academic studies and other pressures. As a result of her work, the club has retained an increased number of swimmers in this age group.
The strong bond Danielle builds with her swimmers was evident when she coached para-swimmer Louis Lawlor to bronze medal position during his international debut at the World Para Swimming Championships in September. Danielle rapidly developed Louis’s swimming performance while compassionately supporting him through a period of significant, unexpected adversity in his personal life.
In her own words
Danielle said: “No two days of coaching are ever the same – you don’t know what you’re going to get, and I like that constantly changing environment. Swimming is such a huge part of the young people’s lives, but it’s not the only part, so it’s important to support them with exam stress, anxiety and their overall mental wellbeing.
“The swimmers have clear goals and I’m invested in helping them achieve those.
"At Glasgow we want to be the leading club in Scotland so by helping our teenage swimmers achieve their ambitions, I’m providing the best service to our members and helping make our overall goal a reality.”
Danielle picked up her award at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 at Glasgow City Chambers on 21 November.
Inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were recognised across 15 categories for their significant contribution to sport.
Hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, the Awards celebrated coaches, officials and volunteers for their work in sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, football, karate, wheelchair curling, basketball, boxing and canoeing.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to afford others the chance to take part in sport, and experience all the benefits that come with sport participation.
“Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards give us a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate those who are making an incredible commitment to Scottish sport.
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level and that is only possible with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for information about coaching, officiating and volunteering.