Those who played their part in Geraint Thomas’s journey from Maindy Flyers to the Tour de France’s yellow jersey were honoured at last night’s UK Coaching Awards.
The awards are an annual celebration of coaching, and one of the prizes - the Coaching Chain award - pays tribute to contributions made by individual coaches throughout an elite athlete’s career.
With Thomas’s Tour triumph still fresh in the memory, a host of individuals influential in the Welshman’s development were celebrated.
They ranged from Debbie Wharton, founder of Maindy Flyers – the club which has produced not only Thomas but two further Olympic champions in the shape of Elinor Barker and Owain Doull – to Welsh Cycling’s Darren Tudor; Rod Ellingworth and Matt Parker, both of whom helped Thomas progress through the British Cycling ranks; and his current coach at Team Sky, Tim Kerrison.
Darren Tudor, Head Coach at Welsh Cycling said:
“Geraint was part of the Welsh Junior programme for three years before transferring to the British Cycling Academy, and was easy to work with and offered everything a coach wants from an athlete.
“When we work with juniors, we’re always aspiring for them to move onto the next level in their career and we’re constantly looking to give them the right skills and education. Geraint’s discipline and work ethic were completely in tune with what we needed him to achieve as a junior.
“It was evident to me as his coach at the time that even in those early stages, his demeanour was very much like others who have become world-class athletes, and he already had an edge to his performance and goals. He had a really supportive background - both his parents were an absolute pleasure to work with and really just wanted Geraint to do the best he could without being demanding.”
Also in the running for awards at last night’s event in London were Patricia Quirke (nominated for Coach Developer of the Year); Monica Eden (nominated for Talent Development Coach of the Year); and Sarah Toone (nominated for Community Coach of the Year).
Want to get into coaching? British Cycling provides opportunities for new and existing coaches to develop their skills. Further information is available here.