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Mount Kelly’s Emma Collings-Barnes is honoured at UK Coaching Awards

The director of swimming at Mount Kelly School has been named Talent Development Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards.

Emma Collings-Barnes was presented with the honour during a virtual ceremony last night, beating gymnastic coach Amy Moulton and canoeing’s Trevor Hunter for the prize.

Swim England Head of Talent – Swimming, Grant Robins, was quick to congratulate Emma and said the accolade was fully deserved.

Emma admitted before the ceremony to feeling overwhelmed simply to have been shortlisted for the award.

After winning, she said: “I’m shocked but delighted. This year has been about rolling with the punches, taking each day as it comes and making sure the athlete is at the forefront of everything.

“It’s been a challenge, but I’ve got a great team around me and it’s actually been enjoyable in a strange way.”

Emma’s biography as part of her nomination read: “As director of swimming at Mount Kelly Boarding and Day School, Emma has created a welcoming culture that has culminated in a hugely popular, maximum capacity programme, raised the standards of performance and vastly improved team spirit.

“An inspiration and role model, Emma is committed to ensuring that every swimmer is encouraged to be themselves, placing their happiness, health and wellbeing at the forefront of her efforts.

Fully deserved

“Individualisation is a priority, with swimmers supported to develop in accordance with their personal goals as well as for the squad.

“Interested in participants as people, Emma leads the Optimal Athlete Development Framework at Mount Kelly, linking with British Swimming, to continue to provide support through the development levels.

“She also helps swimmers with their applications to universities and does outreach work to provide ongoing support.”

Grant said: “We think Emma is doing a great job at Mount Kelly.

“She was one of the coaches for the National Junior Squad last year, is full of enthusiasm and has embraced working with us.

“Emma is quite clearly building a good quality coaching team at Mount Kelly and this award is fully deserved.”