Coaches play a huge role in helping bowlers at all levels to reach their potential and enjoy our sport. Celebrating the best of the coaching community in England, this gong will honour the most outstanding and motivational coach of the past 12 months.

Below are the list of coaches which have been shortlisted for the Coach of the Year Award at the Bowls England Awards 2023.

Daniel Adams (Griffin BC, Essex)

Daniel, an inspirational bowler, commenced his bowls journey at 18, initially at Tye Green IBC and later at Griffin Bowls Club. His achievements extend across club, national, and international levels, notably representing England in the Munro Cup and the Learning Disabilities Home International Series. In 2019, Daniel attained his Level One Coaching certificate, progressing to achieve his Level Two Coaching award in 2022. 

Devoted to sharing his passion, Daniel leads weekly coaching sessions for diverse community groups, with a particular emphasis on engaging younger players. With a focus on inclusivity, he strives to showcase that bowls welcomes individuals of all ages and abilities. Daniel’s coaching sessions prioritize enjoyment, integrating fun and competitive exercises to keep participants engaged and stimulated. His approach promotes individual progression, fostering a positive environment centered on communication and teamwork. 

Daniel holds the role of Learning Disability Representative for Disability Bowls England and serves as one of the DBE Ambassadors. Beyond coaching, he has actively raised funds for Disability Bowls England. Locally recognized for his contributions, Daniel is an Active Essex All Together Ambassador, reflecting his commitment to encouraging participation in bowls across all levels. 

His coaching sessions, popular among various groups, exemplify his dedication to sharing knowledge and enthusiasm. With a quiet and unassuming demeanour, Daniel’s coaching has not only contributed to the sport’s inclusivity but has also played a transformative role in his own life, enhancing his confidence and sociability. 

George Dodsworth (Lyndhurst BC, Durham)

George, the driving force behind Lyndhurst BC’s junior section since 2015, has transformed their approach to junior recruitment, revitalizing the club and reaping remarkable successes. Prior to his involvement, Lyndhurst’s junior section comprised only a few grandchildren of members. Recognizing the need for growth, George initiated a campaign visiting local schools, establishing a partnership with Gateshead Schools Sports Partnership, and organised annual competitions that attracted new members. 

Through a strategic Facebook campaign and Saturday morning sessions, George gathered a remarkable 37 junior members aged 4 to 17, all coached by him and his team of Level One coaches. In the 2023 season, two 15-year-old girls secured victory in the Durham County Pairs competition, representing the county at the Aviva National Finals. Another success story emerged with a 22-year-old and a 15-year-old winning the county Under-25 Pairs competition, a historic achievement for the club, both coached by George.  

George’s visionary approach includes embracing the Bowls’ Big Weekend philosophy with open days, coaching for all members, and outreach to various community groups, all resulting in increased membership. Notably, parents of juniors have also become members. George actively seeks sponsorship to enhance the junior section’s equipment, recognizing the importance of investing in the future. 

His forward-thinking extends to planning an in-house competition, ‘Jumbles’ sessions, and maintaining connections with schools. George’s dedication goes beyond coaching, as he spearheads initiatives for better facilities, like the recently developed raised decking area. He’s a pivotal figure in the club’s 119-year history, leading by example, planning, and ensuring an infectious enthusiasm that engages members in various projects. 

Robin Yetman (West Hoathly BC, Sussex)

Robin has made an incredible impact through his exceptional coaching initiatives, significantly contributing to West Hoathly’s growth and success. Taking the initiative and investing personally in his coaching, Robin acquired Level One and Level Two Coach Bowls qualifications, applying these skills practically under observation both outdoors and indoors. 

His commitment extended to crafting a comprehensive coaching manual tailored for new bowlers. Robin supervised twice-weekly coaching sessions throughout the 2023 season, ensuring the implementation of the coaching program. He also played a pivotal role in preparing bowls initiation programs and coordinating activities on recruitment days. 

Under Robin’s coaching leadership, the club witnessed a record-breaking influx of 17 new members, leading to a net growth in membership from 73 to 87. Feedback from these new members credits their enrollment to Robin’s coaching efforts. West Hoathly not only surpassed its challenging new member recruitment target but also entered an additional squad into a local Mid-Sussex league, demonstrating the impact of Robin’s initiatives. 

Many of the new bowlers, under Robin’s guidance, actively participated in friendly fixtures during their inaugural season, prompting the club to increase the number of friendlies to meet their needs. 

Robin’s commitment to coaching is evident in his resilience and enthusiasm. Despite enduring a painful back injury during the coaching program (which also kept him off the bowling green for two months) he remained dedicated to completing all coaching sessions. 

Shayne Rimmer (Heaton Hall BC, Lancashire)

Taking on the role of Lancashire County Junior Manager in 2021, Shayne has embarked on making vast improvements in the region. 

His dedication is exemplified by the completion of his Coach Bowls Level One and the ongoing pursuit of his Level Two certification. Under Shayne’s guidance, Lancashire achieved a historic White Rose Semi-Final position in 2022, a testament to his leadership. 

Shayne’s approach led to the formation of Bowls Lancashire’s inaugural Junior Academy in 2022, attracting over 15 juniors in its first session. Additionally, he initiated Southport BC’s first weekly Junior coaching sessions, expanding to indoor short mat during the winter. The outreach to primary schools and scout groups during these sessions resulted in junior recruitment increasing five times. 

In the summer of 2023, Southport’s junior membership grew to nearly 20% of total playing members. Shayne capitalized on this momentum by entering Bowls Lancashire’s first-ever Amy Rose team, blending experienced players with promising youngsters, fostering a competitive spirit to ensure their continued participation. 

Shayne’s influence extends beyond team achievements, as juniors recruited under his stewardship represented the county in B team matches. This remarkable work helped to see the rise of three new England Men’s Junior Internationals and an additional Women’s U18 trialist. 

Beyond his role as Junior Manager, Shayne’s personal career, which commenced in the early 1990s, reflects his passion for the sport. Winning six county titles and two national titles, he has combined his own achievements with a commitment to nurturing the next generation. Shayne’s sacrifices, including a shift in focus from personal success, to play with more inexperienced junior players in county and national competitions, underscore his belief in the vital role of the youth in securing the future of bowls in Lancashire. 

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