Strabane coach receives top BBC award.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Strabane coach receives top BBC award. thumbnail Strabane sprint coach Stephen Maguire (left), with coaching partner Malcolm Christie, receive the Coach of the Year award at the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of The Year ceremony.

STRABANE man Stephen Maguire was awarded the BBC's Coach of the Year award, along with his partners Benke Blomkvist and Christian Malcolm, at the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony on Sunday night.

Maguire helped Great Britain's men's 4x100m team to gold medals at the World Athletics Championships in the summer.

CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake captured Britain's first world sprint relay gold in what was Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt's final race.

All four of Britain's relay teams won medals at the championships.

GB's team of Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita won silver in the women's 4x100m, while there was another silver in the 4x400m relay for Zoey Clark, Laviai Nielsen, Eilidh Doyle and Emily Diamond.

The men's 4x400m team - Matthew Hudson-Smith, Dwayne Cowan, Rabah Yousif and Martyn Rooney - won bronze.

Maguire is the head coach for Sprints, Hurdles and Relays for Team GB, and was previously Director of Athletics for Scotland.

Receiving the award alongside Malcolm from presenter Gabby Logan at the prestigious awards ceremony at Liverpool Echo Arena on Sunday night, Maguire reflected on the teams' success: "It came together that night. I was afraid to look at the screen but the guys did an unbelievable job.

"Massive recognition to their coaches, we get the cream on the cake, but they have done all the work."

The coaching trio took home the same award from the UK Coaching Awards last month, while Maguire was named High Performance Coach of the Year by UK Athletics.

"We are delighted to accept this award on behalf of the whole team effort that resulted in relay success at the World Championships in London," said Maguire.

"We hope to achieve more success on the track as we head towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games." Maguire has been one of the best track coaches in Great Britain for many years, and his record speaks for itself.

The 53-year-old's coaching has already been recognised before when he was named Northern Ireland's Sports Coach of the Year in 2006.

Having first worked with Athletics Ireland, Maguire became the personal trainer for then up-and-coming Derry Paralympic athlete Jason Smyth in 2003, with their partnership leading to four Paralympic gold medals.

Upon ending his coaching stint with Smyth in 2012, Maguire took up the role of Director of Athletics in Scotland before moving on to the Team GB setup in 2014.

There was further Northern Ireland success on the night as Ballyclare World Superbike triple champion was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year runner up, losing out to overall winner Mo Farah by just a few thousand votes.

In 2015, the awards ceremony were held in Belfast, and Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill took home the Coach of the Year award.


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