West London’s Ben Lampert, a coach with England’s deaf football team and Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, is among the first selection of finalists announced last week for the UK Coaching Awards.
The showpiece event, which will be held at The Tower Hotel London on the 5 December, celebrates the outstanding work of a diverse network of coaches who promote healthy and active lives, unlock potential and provide a platform for people to thrive.
Ben Lampert, who is one of the country’s only full-time deaf football coach, is among the finalists in the Changing Lives Award category. Through his work for Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, his Deaf Sports Plus project is breaking down barriers by providing free sporting activities to deaf children and adults. Lampert also works with hearing and deaf children in west London schools, coaching football and teaching sign language. In addition, he is Assistant Manager for the England deaf men’s football team.
Speaking about his award nomination, Lampert said:
“I am honoured to be nominated for the award. It is important to show other Deaf people that it is always possible to achieve your goals.
“I got involved with the Trust so that I could break down the barriers I faced as a child and to ensure that sport can be enjoyed by all deaf people. Growing up I had to fit in and adapt to sports sessions – rather than the sessions being adapted to me and my communication needs.
“Sometimes I think there is a misconception about deaf people because of their communication needs. If deaf people can achieve great things in sport, we can change this perception.”
UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching Emma Atkins, said:
“The UK Coaching Awards is a true highlight of the year, giving us an opportunity to formally celebrate great coaches from a diverse range of backgrounds and thank them for all of the incredible work they do.
“Over three million people regularly coach across the UK, from grassroots to elite level, helping to create and maintain happy and healthy lives, and benefit communities. Coaches have the power to enrich the skills of the people they work with.
“This year we have added the Changing Lives Award, which recognises coaches who are empowering, inspiring and connecting people from diverse communities to overcome life challenges. It is a category which illustrates the way in which coaches can transform lives.
“I would like to offer huge congratulations to all of those who have been nominated for the first four awards. The standard of nominations we received this year was extraordinary, demonstrating the strength of coaching in the UK.
“Thank you to all our coaches across the UK, and to our finalists. We are all looking forward to celebrating your achievements in December.”
Finalists for the final eight awards will be announced in November, including The Great Coaching Moment of the Year prize. This will be shortlisted by the Sports Journalists’ Association and will be open to a public vote.
The UK Coaching Awards recognise and reward great coaching from a diverse array of backgrounds. Previous winners range from coaches and organisations working at an elite level to those making a huge difference in their community.