Horsham-based coach Andy Neal was presented with his England Athletics coach of the year award at Horsham Blue Star Harriers training on Monday.
The presentation was made by club chairman and South East regional councillor Keith May and England Athletics club and coach support officer Elspeth Turner in the presence of club members, coaches, athletes and parents inside the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre tube.
Neal’s contribution to coaching extends from beginner to elite. Since becoming a level four coach, more than 20 years ago, he has dedicated both his working and volunteer life to coaching athletics.
Although perhaps better known for his development and delivery of coach education, Neal’s track record as a throws coach has followed an impressive pathway culminating with a bronze medal in the discus by Jade Lally at the Commonwealth Games.
Neal’s coaching group includes several past international athletes. Five of these athletes while coached by him were nationally ranked in the top 20. Lally has been the UK leading female discus thrower for the last four years.
Turner said: “Neal always encourages coaches to become the best they can be and few can avoid his constructive but positive challenging on why, how and what can be better. His enthusiasm is infectious and he is a role model of a role model.”
He received his award after returning from Mozambique where he has been introducing the national and regional coaches to the UK Athletics system of coaching and coach education