The UK’s finest coaching moment of 2019 open to a public vote

18 Nov 2019

UK Coaching has officially opened a public vote for the Great Coaching Moment of the Year award category as part of its UK Coaching Awards, with Mel Marshall nominated as a finalist alongside England coach Gareth Southgate, Liverpool FC’s Jürgen Klopp and the coach behind the successes of Dina Asher-Smith.

The Great Coaching Moment of the Year celebrates the moment that distinguishes a coach from their focus on a game or a result to their focus on the person or people in front of them; the moments when ‘we’ see or hear about a coach doing something humanistic to support and guide their athlete or athletes.

This year’s shortlist was selected in partnership with the Sports Journalists’ Association and features Southgate, Asher-Smith’s coach John Blackie, Champions League winning coach Jürgen Klopp and British Swimming coach Melanie Marshall, who has helped guide Adam Peaty to multiple global titles and world records.

Mel Marshall (who is also nominated in the High Performance Coach of the Year category) is one of Britain’s most decorated swimmers, and the world-class swim coach who helped mastermind Adam Peaty’s success. This year, Peaty broke his own world record in the semi-final of the 100m breaststroke at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea with a time of 56.88. Going on to retain his title and win gold in the 50m breaststroke as well.

Their coach-athlete relationship started when Peaty was 15, with Mel motivating his rise from a club swimmer to a World, European, Commonwealth and Olympic Games champion. In a recent Instagram post, Peaty encapsulated their coaching journey, with a snapshot of them working together and the caption ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. On top of that, he also dedicated his Swimmer of the Year award at the British Swimming Awards to her.

Mel Marshall, said:

“It goes without saying that it’s an absolute honour for both Adam and myself to be nominated for this award.

Adam and I have been working together for 11 years now, so it has been an incredible journey that we’ve been on, with plenty of highs and lows along the way. 2019 was a great year, with success at the World Championships and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every single person from British Swimming and beyond who has played a key role in this success.”

Adam Peaty, said:

“As one of the leading female coaches in our country, I’m thrilled that Mel has been recognised and nominated for Great Coaching Moment of the Year.

Mel is so much more than just a coach and is there for her athletes 24/7. We share common goals and a mutual understanding that we will work harder and be smarter which allows us to achieve the results that we do. Mel shares the dreams of her athletes and has enabled me to grow not just as a swimmer, but also as a person, both physically and mentally. Mel is an incredible coach and she’s also an incredible person.”

This year’s Great Coaching Moment of the Year shortlist was selected in partnership with the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) – the largest member organisation of sports media professionals in the world. Who wins? You decide. Cast your vote at

Sports Journalists’ Association Joint-chair Andy Elliott, said:

“Without great coaching, we wouldn’t witness great moments in sport, and the SJA is delighted to support UK Coaching in providing this shortlist for the Great Coaching Moment of the Year.

We in the sports media understand that the focus inevitably will be on the performers, but we also recognise that coaches have a vital role to play in producing great sports stars and moments to savour.”

UK Coaching’s Director of Coaching, Emma Atkins said:

“What a fantastic shortlist for this year’s Great Coaching Moment. With so many prominent sporting moments to choose from over the past 12 months, we were pleased to have the support and input from members of the SJA, who are experts when it comes to knowing the moments that have got sports journalists talking and writing, and the rest of us reading.

This line up demonstrates that Great Coaching in high-performance and elite sport isn’t, necessarily, always about the result or outcome. It can be about the strong lifetime bond formed between a coach and their athlete at a young age; or cherishing the moments of great success against the odds with your team; or being a source of light and great strength for your players in moments of darkness. I look forward to seeing who the public choose as their winner on the night of the Awards.”

The UK Coaching Awards are taking place on Thursday 5 December 2019 at The Tower Hotel London and will recognise and celebrate the work of people and organisations who are making a significant impact on Great Coaching.

Everyone has a chance to pick their favourite of the four finalists in the public vote, which closes on Thursday 5 December – the same day as the UK Coaching Awards. Votes can be placed on the UK Coaching website at