After a record-breaking Olympic Games in Rio for Team GB’s gymnastics squad, it was our very own Eddie Van Hoof’s turn in the spotlight. Our Head National Coach for Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, was named UK Coach of the Year last night at the Sports Coach UK Coaching Awards. Eddie has been a coach for the last 20 years, and led the British Men’s Artistic Gymnastics programme since 2005.
Eddie received the prestigious title after leading the men’s artistic Olympic team which saw Max Whitlock win double Olympic gold on the floor and pommel, Louis Smith MBE winning silver on pommel, Nile Wilson securing GB’s first ever Olympic high bar medal and Whitlock’s all-around bronze completing his set as a coach at the Games. Eddie was also crowned High Performance Coach of the Year.
Presenting the Coach of the Year accolade was HRH The Princess Royal at the star-studded UK Coaching Awards in London, the annual celebration organised by Sports Coach UK to honour sports coaches and coaching organisations who have demonstrated outstanding success over the previous 12 months.
Eddie is delighted, “To get two awards is absolutely amazing, particularly to get the Coach of the Year award. The athletes take centre-stage a lot of the time, but there’s a real support network behind them and it’s really gratifying that coaches are getting the recognition for the hours and work that is put in to getting those results.
“In gymnastics, my first coaching job came straight off the team in 1995 and we were always around 19th in the world, which was good, but to be up there with the leaders of the sport shows just how much progress has been made in the last ten years.
“It’s been exceptional, coming from London, which was fantastic and it got even better when Rio came around. It showed the depth of the squad and everything coming together at the right time. We’ve had a huge amount of support from UK Sport and the National Lottery has gone a long way into making that sustainable.”
Jane Allen, CEO of British Gymnastics, congratulates Eddie “We head towards the end of a fabulous 2016 with further recognition for our outstanding results at the Olympic Games. Eddie Van Hoof's award as outstanding Coach of the Year in incredibly strong company is well deserved and a testament to the entire men's artistic high performance programme and the talented coaches and athletes involved in the programme.”
12 awards in total were handed out at Sports Coach UK Coaching Awards event which also saw Scottish Gymnastics coach, Kieran Brown, awarded Children’s Coach of the Year. Max Whitlock’s personal coach, Scott Hann, was recognised along with other coaches whose athletes achieved gold medals at the Rio Olympic Games.
It’s been a great week of celebrations for Eddie who earlier this week also graduated from UK Sport’s Elite Programme which aims to take high performance coaching in the UK from world class to world leading. Eddie has subsequently been invited to join UK Sport’s prestigious Coaching Fellowship, which aims to champion the coaching profession and support the development of world class coaches in the UK.
Eddie comments “I’m privileged and honoured to join the Fellowship and feel it recognises the progress made by the whole sport of gymnastics. The UK Sport Elite Programme provided an incredible opportunity to challenge our thinking and understanding of high performance coaching and I found it to be hugely beneficial to me and so also to the development of our sport.”