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Inverness Coach Blitzes UK Coaching Awards

Robbie Paulin who coaches for the Inverness Blitz (American Football Club with almost 200 members) attended the 2006 UK Coach of the Year Awards in December and came away with the UK Young Coach of the Year Award against exceptionally strong and worthy competition.

At the awards ceremony held on Wednesday 13th December in the Dorchester Hotel in London, Robbie was presented with the trophy and in doing so entered the Sports Coach UK Coaching Hall of Fame. The glittering ceremony which was compered by BBC Sport’s Steve Rider, was attended by some of sport's most recognisable names including Lord Sebastian Coe, Sir Clive Woodward, Duncan Goodhew and Sir Trevor Brooking. Also in attendance were Sports Minister Richard Caborn and TV and radio personality Eamon Holmes, while former Olympian Roger Black gave an address on the value and importance of coaching.
Robbie has become something of a phenomenon and has been influential at a UK level within American Football by being asked to rewrite the British American Football Coaches Association Coach Education Programme for the UK covering Level 1 and 2 Awards and is now the Head Coach for 6 Scottish National Development Squads.  He is also Vice President of the Scottish Flag Football Association.  This is particularly impressive when you consider he is based in the far North of Scotland, is only 21 years of age and has managed all this on a voluntary basis!
Locally, he coaches the Highland Wildcats, finalists of the British Junior (14-17 years) Kitted 5-aside Championships and his Youth (U-18) Flag Team won the Scottish Championships.  He set up a new Cadet (U-13) team in January who qualified for the Scottish finals. Another of his teams were finalists in the Channel 5 Bowl in Birmingham and his 9-aside (14-17 years) team won the Scottish League. On top of all this, he coaches within 14 schools and Inverness College to promote the game/recruit players.
He has gone beyond his coaching role by:
  • Setting up the first ever home international attracting entries from England, Ireland, Scotland and even France.
  • Obtaining charitable status for his club (Inverness Blitz) and attracting funding to appoint a development officer.
  • Writing a 5 year club development plan (now adopted by sportscotland as a model of good practice).
  • Devising an initiative to establish full-contact wheelchair American football.
  • Working with Project Scotland to provide employment training placements.
Robbie is an inspiration and gives everything he has to his sport!
Nominated by Alan Hoseason of Coaching Highland, Alan said “All of us at Coaching Highland are absolutely delighted for Robbie as we recognised a level of enthusiasm, dedication and passion for his sport which is nothing short of phenomenal.  Robbie had previously won the Highland Young Coach of the Year Award, the UK Whitbread Young Achievers Award and many Scottish / British American football related awards.  His success as a coach is an inspiration to many.  The Sports Coach UK event is the UK’s top awards ceremony for coaching and for an Inverness coach to be recognised in front of so many sporting legends makes this a very significant and proud occasion for the Highlands.
He coaches up to 18 hours per week and spends a lot of his spare time working on video analysis for his players and continually developing a large club website and many other initiatives for the club – these include strength & conditioning training and producing fun and motivational team videos.
After receiving the award, Robbie said “It was an honour to be receiving an award in a room filled with people such as Seb Coe and Roger Black. Seeing the quality of the other nominations that I was up against made the award all the more special.  It was great seeing the comments from my players in the video that was shown and I am looking forward to the 2007 season even more after receiving this amazing boost.  I would like to thank Coaching Highland for nominating me for the award.
Funding for Robbie and his family to attend the awards was provided by Coaching Highland and Inverness Area Sports Council.
Robbie Paulin receiving the award from Alistair Gray (Managing Director of GENESIS – Strategic management Consultants who sponsored the UK Young Coach of the Year Award.
Awards Ceremony / Dining Room at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London.
The Sports Coach UK Young Coach of the Year Award 2006 Trophy.
Robbie Paulin with his Young Coach of the Year Award trophy.
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