Coaches nominated for top award
PUBLISHED: 16:15 01 September 2010
Sports coaches have been nominated for a prestigious award which will see them ranked alongside some of the country’s top stars.
Bexley-based trampoline coach Keith Sleafer has been nominated as Volunteer of the Year, by the London Youth Games.
If he wins ahead of two other coaches who are bidding to be inducted into the Youth Games hall of fame he will join sporting greats such as Rio Ferdinand, Steve Backley and Linford Christie.
A veteran of the games Mr Sleafer has been coaching and managing the team since 1977. This year his team won their first ever medal, taking the trampoline bronze at Crystal Palace.
Another nominee is PE-teacher Adam Wadey, from Bromley, who has been shortlisted for the Coach of the Year Award.
Mr Wadey used a grant of £5,000 to set up free swimming lessons for children with special needs, some of whom had never been to a swimming pool before.
With the aim of engaging pupils who had not been involved with sport before, Mr Wadey led the Bromley team to bronze in the Disability Athletics and a commendable position in the adaptive indoor rowing.
Rio Ferdinand whose father Julan lives in Park Avenue, Bromley, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Speaking about the London Youth Games, he said: “It is a really well organised big event. I did gymnastics and I remember my mum and dad being there as well. We didn’t win unfortunately.
“Our coach told us about the London Youth Games and we had something to aim for so we didn’t get involved with trouble on the estates or the streets. The more of these kind of things the less time there is for kids to get involved in boredom and to get in trouble.”
The Bromley Borough team won the finals of the overall London Youth Games at Crystal Palace in July, beating rivals Croydon to the to spot by only six points. The Games broke all of its own records in 2010 when it involved more than 50,00 participants.
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