British Rowing Volunteer and Coach of the Year Award winners announced

Twenty-five volunteers and coaches will be recognised at the British Rowing Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards


Rowing is a sport that thrives because of the dedication of its numerous volunteers, which is why we celebrate them, and others, at the annual British Rowing Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards.

Twenty volunteers will be recognised at February’s awards ceremony, with five more coaches receiving awards for their exceptional successes over the past year.

The winning volunteers range from those who have been involved in the sport for several decades to those who have made a huge impact at a young age in the Rising Star Award.

The Lifetime Award winners include Gloucester RC’s Brian Nelson, who has been involved with the club for the best part of 70 years. As with many volunteers, Brian’s contribution to the club spans numerous roles – not only has he held the roles of President and Chairman, but Brian has also puts his hand to coaching, driving trailers, property maintenance and it’s not uncommon to see him fishing debris from the canal.

Four Rising Stars are recognised this year, including Emma Pullen from Northwich RC. Emma suffered a back injury as a junior rower but was determined to continue contributing to the sport and became a coach at her club. She has become an incredible role model for her peers and the young athletes she works with and has helped create a more robust pathway for junior rowers at the club.

Deva Mitra is one of ten Volunteer Award winners for his work developing novice rowers at Lea RC. Deva was noted for the incredible number of hours he puts into helping his rowers progress and for promoting the novice group within the wider club.

The positivity this brought enabled a very high retention rate among the new rowers, which was surely helped by Deva’s encouragement for his athletes to enjoy bacon sandwiches and cake after a tough training session.

There are four coaches and one coaching team who are winners of the Coach of the Year awards, including Bobby Thatcher who has coached arguably the best schoolboy crew in history at St Paul’s School. The SPS eight capped their dominant season with a record-breaking win in the Princess Elizabeth at Henley Royal Regatta, beating the course record by a full 11 seconds.

Also awarded is Emma Cox of Looe RC in Cornwall, who coached her crew to Gig Rowing World Championships glory this summer. When she wasn’t in the boat as a coach, coxswain or rower, Emma completed a cycle ride from John O’Groats to Lands End to raise funds for a new club boat.

The British Rowing Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards will be presented at a ceremony on 2 February at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. Three overall Volunteers of the Year will be announced on the day.

Volunteer of the Year Award winners

East Midlands: Martha Nutkins/Tom Hallett (Derby RC)
Eastern: Deva Mitra (Lea RC)
North West: Timothy Hopkins (Liverpool Univ. BC)
Northern: Brian Webb (Chester le Street ARC)
Thames: Rachael Haycock (Wallingford RC)
WAGS: Clair Ponting (Avon County RC)
West and South East Coast: Garry Saunders (Shoreham RC)
West: Ben Smith (Exeter RC)
West Midlands: Kathryn (Kat) Carlyle (Bewdley RC)

Lifetime Award winners

East Midlands: Robert Laver (Burton Leander RC)
Eastern: John Canton (Peterborough City RC)
North West: Tim Williams (Grosvenor RC)
WAGS: Brian Nelson (Gloucester RC)
West: Dave Godfrey (Bideford ARC)
West Midlands: Dave Perry (Evesham RC)

Rising Star Award winners

Eastern: Callum Gilbey (Peterborough City RC)
North West: Emma Pullan (Northwich RC)
Thames: Harry Peel (Maidstone Invicta RC)
Yorkshire: Oliver Bingham (Leeds RC)

Coach of the Year Award winners

Education Development: Ellie Hizzett (Durham Univ. BC – Northern region)
Club Development: Rachel James (Bewdley RC – West Midlands)
Education Performance: Bobby Thatcher (St Paul’s School BC – Thames)
Club Performance: Emma Cox (Looe RC – South West)
Coaching Team: Lea Junior Women (Lea RC – Eastern)

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