Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back the background team by Paul Thorburn

Welsh ruby legend Paul Thorburn kicked Wales to their best ever finish in the Rugby World Cup.
He kicked the conversion for Wales when they pipped Australia 22-21 to take third place at the 1987 tournament, and now the Sport Wales Board Member is calling for the public to recognise the importance of coaches and volunteers to Welsh sport.

What a summer of sport we have had so far. And there is more to come, not least with the Paralympic Games now upon us.
One of the things that struck me during the Olympics was how often during their media interviews the athletes spoke so positively to recognise their coaching and support staff. And even their parents and people close to them who had helped them reach their dream of competing at the Games.
Looking back on my own career, I think all my coaches played a fundamental role in my development.
Having good quality coaching and support in the early stages of development is important for any youngster. I had my parents who encouraged me, particularly my dad who played rugby.
I am full of admiration for the people who give their time to volunteer in sport. Volunteers and coaches are key to the continued success of Welsh sport.
On that very note, I hope the public can help recognise and celebrate the people in their communities who help drive participation and success in Wales.
In my role as Board Member at Sport Wales, we are on the lookout for the nation’s sporting heroes – the coaches and volunteers at the heart of what we do.
Nominations for our annual Sport Wales Coach of the Year Awards are now open to the public. Until 21st September, we are asking for people to nominate coaches or volunteers who really make a difference to individuals, clubs or groups involved in sport.
There are a number of different categories for nominations covering grassroots sport, young leaders and volunteers, to those invovled in elite sport.
This is the public’s chance to show their appreciation for the people who put in hours and hours of work across Wales.
I would urge people to take some time to nominate their local hero.
For a nomination form visit or phone 0845 045 0904.

Yours in Sport.

Paul Thorburn
Sport Wales Board Member