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North East student wins Young Coach of the Year

Adam Woods with Princess Anne, who presented him with the award Credit: University of Sunderland

A North East student has won a national award after excelling in his ability to assist others.

Adam Woods claimed the Heather Crouch Young Coach of the Year accolade at the Sports Coach UK awards evening in Glasgow, receiving it from Princess Anne, The Princess Royal.

The 18-year-old, who is studying a BSc in Sports Coaching at the University of Sunderland, was recognised for his work coaching water polo, disability swimming sessions, life saving lessons and more.

It was an honour to receive an award, although you don’t coach for the rewards, you do it to bring the best out of the kids. It’s nice to be recognised for something that you do, it all felt a bit surreal.

Glasgow City Chambers is an amazing building and to meet Princess Anne was a huge privilege in itself, it is a moment that will never be forgotten.

– Adam Woods

It’s a successful time for Adam as last month he won the County Durham Sport Young Coach of the Year title, for the second year in a row, and was presented with the award by BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the North East, and Sunderland graduate, Katy Mclean.

Alongside his work at Sedgefield Water Polo Club, and coaching the North East girl’s water polo team, the student also coaches at Wear Valley Amateur Swimming Club, where he holds lessons for disabled swimmers and young children, including rookie lifesaving.

Adam Woods with his award Credit: University of Sunderland

Adam began coaching at 14 after he decided against playing high level water polo due to injury. Once he had a taste he was hooked, and is grateful to the University for allowing him to be flexible with his studies, so he can fulfil his practical responsibilities.

As soon as you start coaching the confidence will build and everything else will slot into place. It is very rewarding to see a person achieve their goals, that’s the reason people coach. If you can help to bring the best out of someone else it’s an amazing thing to be a part of.

– Adam Woods