UK Coaching, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has announced the finalists of its annual UK Coaching Awards. After an open nomination process, the expert judging panel has selected finalists across 10 categories – and we’re delighted that one of our BE Coaches and Organisers, Stephanie Buchanan, has been nominated for the Change a Life Award, supported by Sport England.
The Awards recognise the incredible contribution from coaches across the national sporting landscape in transforming lives and communities. This can come in the form of delivering high-quality technical coaching and improving physical capabilities, to supporting people holistically through their sport and physical activity.
Stephanie is a coach at a British Horse Society (BHS) approved riding centre, RAC Saddle Club. She started the delivery of the BHS Changing Lives Through Horses programme there, following the sudden loss of her nephew through suicide. Keen to help others struggling with their mental health, she is also a trustee of Will Does, a charity set up with her sister, which promotes the positive impact of physical activity and sport to 15 schools in Dorset.
Stephanie’s coaching of those struggling in mainstream education is reflected in increased attendance and self-esteem in her pupils. Her attentive teaching style actively encourages feedback, builds trust, develops confidence and nurtures a love of learning. She works with volunteers – including Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton – and psychotherapists to review information received, giving careful consideration to ensure the best support. Her tireless work has given purpose to many young people and reduced their isolation, providing them with a sense of belonging.
Alison Blackmore, Head of Changing Lives Through Horses at the BHS, commented: “Steph and the team at RAC Saddle Club are inspirational in their engagement with and delivery of the BHS Changing Lives Through Horses Programme, positively impacting on the lives of children and young people in their community and supporting the development of key life skills though equine facilitated learning. We are very proud that the team have been shortlisted for this award – it is very well deserved.”
Stephanie is not the only equestrian nominated for the awards this year, she is joined by Riding for the Disabled Association coach, Kady Chatman who is nominated for the Community Coach of the Year – Children and Young People, supported by the Children’s Coaching Collaborative.
The UK Coaching Awards ceremony will be held on 6 December at The Queens Hotel in Leeds. Further information about the awards and the complete list of finalists can be found here.