Bucks Sport Awards recognise Marlow RC coach

Marlow Rowing Club’s Bret King has been named Coach of the Year at the Bucks Sport Awards 2011.

King received his award at a star-studded awards ceremony on Friday 25 November, presented by the GB Rowing Team’s Olympic and World Championship gold-medallist Zac Purchase.

Adaptive rower and LTAMix4+ World Champion Naomi Riches was also in attendance, alongside a host of famous faces from across the sporting spectrum.

Bourne End’s King was named Coach of the Year after a hugely successful performance from his Marlow RC rowers at the National Championships – in which his Junior Girls Rowing Team claimed a gold and silver medal.

The volunteer coach has also made tremendous strides furthering recreational rowing in the community, introducing over 1000 young people to the sport through his work at Longridge Activity Centre.

‘What Bret is doing – which is unique and merits this award – is leading the way is bridging the gap between recreational and competitive rowing,’ said Amanda Foister, who nominated him for the award.

King introduced coloured wristbands to encourage novice rowers to achieve specific levels of competence, and runs a recreational rowing class that attracts more than 60 young rowers to the river every week.

His commitment to recreational coaching also extends to adults, and Longridge’s Learn to Row courses attract roughly 100 adults a week.

‘This event was our chance to recognise the valuable contribution of all those who deliver sport at a local level in the county of Buckinghamshire,’ said Bucks Sport Chairman Professor Peter Thomas MBE.

‘It is my firm belief that sport has a unique role to play in shaping individuals and communities, changing lives and improving the wellbeing and quality of life, for so many people of all ages in this county.’

King’s dedication to his voluntary role has also led to his nomination in British Rowing insurers Perkin Slade’s Coach, You’re the Best competition.

‘Bret has an extraordinary knack of making the impossible seem simple,’ said one nomination for the Marlow coach, ‘encouraging you to give your best while keeping the whole experience fun!’

To vote for King to win £1,000 of sports equipment in the Coach, You’re the Best competition, visit www.perkins-slade.com.