Coach Patrick McKillop received the top honour at the Sport Northern Ireland Coach of the Year awards. Patrick who is coach to the current world Paralympic 800m champion and the 1500m silver medallist Michael McKillop, was presented with the Performance Athlete Coach Award and named overall Coach of the Year at the gala ceremony at the University of Ulster on Tuesday 10 June.
Present at the awards, sponsored by Podium4Sport, were 15 finalist Coaches who had been nominated in the categories of Youth Sport, Young Athlete Development, Performance Sport, Disability and Lifetime Contribution. MC for the evening was BBC’s Mark Sidebottom and Northern Ireland Football Manager Nigel Worthington presented Patrick with the Performance Athlete and Overall Coach of the Year Awards.
Speaking on the night Eamonn McCartan Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland commented “We have heard amazing examples of commitment and dedication of time and energy to others this evening. I hope all of the finalists, and indeed the many more coaches who were nominated, feel suitably proud of the important role they play in sport.”
On receiving his awards Patrick said “I didn’t know my fellow coach, Stephen Rooney, had nominated me so when Sport Northern Ireland phoned to say I was a finalist I was totally shocked, but very honoured. I am not involved in coaching to receive an award, but it is a privilege to be here tonight along with other coaches and to be recognised for the work we do.”
Youth Sport, Joe Norwood, Football
Young Athlete Development, Ian Walker, Volleyball
Disability, Gerard McAnulty, GAA.
Lifetime Contribution, Jim Nelson, GAA
Performance Athlete, Patrick McKillop, Athletics