Jonny Willcox, Young Coach of the Year at the 2017 sportscotland Coaching, Officiating & Volunteering Awards

COV winner: Jonny Willcox

Find out more about the 2017 Young Coach of the Year

One of Scotland’s leading young coaches has been recognised by sportscotland for their dedication to sport after winning the Young Coach of the Year award.

Jonny Wilcox, 25, landed the prestigious prize for his work with youngsters at Rutherglen Lawn Tennis Club, which has also made a positive impact on his local community.

Thanks to Jonny’s work with the Reidvale Adventure Play Association and Possibilities for Each and Every Kid (PEEK), young people from some of the most deprived areas of Glasgow have been given the opportunity to play tennis, where they were once denied.

Jonny, who was named both Tennis Scotland’s and British Tennis’ coach of the year for 2017, was also instrumental in redeveloping a derelict Burnside facility, turning it into a thriving club with a membership of over 110 local children.

Working as the district performance programme lead, Jonny has helped to develop a programme which improves the performance of members and the skillset of coaches working in the area.

He said: "I’m driven by my love of tennis and I just want to try and give as many people as possible the same opportunities I was given as a kid to play. With our McDonald’s funded community programme all local school kids get access to tennis for free during school and through after school clubs. It gives them the opportunity to play and links in to the club programme, too.

“Our numbers have grown quite a lot, our coaching programme has doubled in the last year or so, that’s down to a lot of our community work, going into schools and youth groups to get more people involved in tennis. By providing an extensive coaching programme we are able to cater for everyone at the club.”

In the last year Jonny has helped youngsters represent Scotland, become national Champions, and has set up national level squads for U10 and U14 players.

Praise for Jonny 

Doug MacDonald from Tennis Scotland nominated Jonny for the ‘Young Coach of the Year Award’.

He said: Jonny is an incredible role model, not just for the players he coaches but also for other coaches in his club and community.

“Jonny works exceptionally hard at developing his club, is enthusiastic, motivating and inspiring. His attitude and approach to learning is first class, always looking for new opportunities to learn and encouraging others to come with him, for example, regularly attending the LTA National Coaches Conference in London and bringing his coaching team with him.

“He is a talented young coach coaching from grassroots to performance levels, positively impacting lives in his local community.”

Jonny picked up his award on an evening where inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were celebrated across 13 categories for their significant contribution to sport over the past twelve months.

The prestigious sportscotland Coaching Officiating and Volunteer Awards 2017, were held last night (8 November) at Stirling Court Hotel where leading athletes congratulated the winners and thanked them for their work in supporting and developing sport in Scotland.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to help others achieve their sporting goals. Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards provide us with a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate individuals on their commitment to Scottish sport.

“Jonny’s level of dedication to his club, and tennis as a whole, is second to none. Not only does he contribute so much of his time to coaching youngsters but he is instrumental to the success of Rutherglen Lawn Tennis Club behind the scenes. Thanks to Jonny’s tireless work many youngsters have been given the chance to take part in sport, where it may have passed them by previously.

“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level in Scotland and we can only do so with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers. I hope that many more people are inspired by our winners’ stories and recognise the opportunities that exist to get involved in sport at every level from volunteering at your local club or school to coaching or officiating on the world stage.”

At the event, hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in swimming, athletics, lawn bowls, tennis, football, rowing, shinty and curling were recognised for the many hours they dedicate to helping others compete at the best level they can.  

Find out more

Be inspired by the stories of all the 2017 winners.

Visit the sportscotland website for information about the COV Awards. 

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