Club Doncaster Foundation coach Josh Gelder has been recognised as one of 25 lockdown coaching heroes at the UK Coaching Hero Awards ceremony in Leeds on Wednesday October 6.
More than 500 coaches were nominated with 75 shortlisted and put to a public vote. Each of the winners was celebrated at the event with each receiving a memento from UK Coaching’s Royal Partron, HRH The Princess Royal to mark the considerable difference they made to people’s mental and physical well-being.
The nation’s PE teacher Joe Wicks and double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes received the largest number of nominations from the public for the awards and were highly commended by UK Coaching on the night for using their profiles to coach online fitness and activity sessions to adults and children.
Josh was nominated for his incredible efforts throughout lockdown with online coaching courses.
He said: “First of all I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that voted for me for the UK Coaching Hero award, I feel honoured to have won the award and to have been recognised for all the hard work that myself and the Foundation team put in throughout the pandemic.
“It was also really rewarding to see how many participants engaged in the variety of projects we delivered especially how many children took part and joined us in the activities. I’m really proud to say that even through the tough times, Club Doncaster Foundation still managed to keep Doncaster smiling.”
Foundation sport development officer Kelly Jackson-Powell added: “I nominated Josh for his above-and-beyond approach throughout the pandemic.
“Josh didn’t let the pandemic get in the way of keeping participants engaged in our programmes and regularly came up with different ideas to do something different. The World Book Day live workout was a highlight of the work with 127 participants taking part, this included children at home, children in school, teachers and parents.
“Children brought their favourite book to the workout and completed different activities using their book as a prop, Donny Dog even surprised the children by completing the workout too!
“Josh’s approach to lockdown helped our local community by not only providing them with live workouts, but supporting schools, delivering books, equipment and care packages, organising regular zoom calls and even running an online half term club! I am so proud of how the Foundation’s team adapted through the pandemic and that Josh has been recognised for his contribution to the team.”
UK Coaching director of coaching Emma Atkins, said: “Many congratulations to all our winners. We applaud your efforts and the role you played in your communities, boosting morale and lifting people’s moods in a completely alienating time.
UK Coaching CEO Mark Gannon, said: “Naturally, the stories of our ‘lockdown coaches’ were so good that tens of thousands of people used their thumbs to give kudos to their favourite coach. And what a wide-ranging group of winners we have.
“You supported, guided and inspired people to achieve goals and transform their lives through something unprecedented. We’re incredibly proud of you – well done.”
UK Coaching opened nominations to its UK Coaching Hero awards initiative in 2020 after the first major UK-wide COVID-19 lockdown. The charitable organisation wanted to acknowledge the efforts of coaches, who in difficult circumstances persevered and re-thought coaching techniques to deliver legal digital and one-to-one training, utilising sport and physical activity to keep people connected.