StreetGames’ own Russel Smith has been named as the Coach Developer of the Year for 2017. Rus, who received the award at the UK Coaching Awards on Thursday – was recognised for his wonderful efforts in helping to shape the future of sports coaching. Speaking after the event, Rus commented:

“Winning this award is amazing, not just for me but for all of the people who give up their time to help young people in the StreetGames Network. The work that we do to train and develop young people is important, not just because it provides coaching skills, but also because it gives our coaches the people skills they need to create healthier, happier communities”.

This year’s ceremony was held at the prestigious Honourable Artillery Company venue in London, and marked the 20th anniversary of the event. The evening represented a case of second time lucky for Rus, who was a runner-up in the same category in 2016. This year saw Rus return to contest the award against two other deserving nominees in Adrienne Hunter – nominated for her work with Scottish Basketball, Bowls and Cycling - and Bob Muir, author of the first sports coaching degree in the UK and a regular consultant for Sport England, and the England Institute of Sport.

Rus claimed the prize for his work with StreetGames in developing coaches, staff and volunteers among some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, reaching over 1000 learners in the last 12 months alone. One key element of Rus’ success was his creation of the ‘Coach-Mate Connector’ programme, which emphasises trust, respect and personal support alongside more formal training methods.  The programme aims to improve access to coach development opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Send your congratulations to Rus on Twitter @RusSmith0907, or meet the man himself, and learn about his industry-leading methods at this year’s StreetGames’ Training and Development Conference.


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