Great Britain coach honoured with prestigious prize at UK Coaching Awards

Great Britain coach honoured with prestigious prize at UK Coaching Awards
By Sportsbeat

01/12/2016 at 10:55Updated

An Olympic gold medal around his neck already indicates a job well done for Danny Kerry, but the Team GB head coach is adamant his determination for success is higher than it's ever been.

The undisputed mastermind of Team GB's first ever female hockey gold, Kerry would be forgiven for wanting to hang up the stick and opt for a quieter life.

But the 46-year-old insists now more than ever is the time for him to put the hours in on the training pitch with his team, already with an eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the journey needed to get there.

It's a mantra Kerry feels he has always had, determined not to let that slip away as Team GB reap the rewards of their biggest moment in hockey.

"We won Olympic gold on Friday night, but by Sunday morning in my hotel room I was already planning what we could do next and what can happen in preparation for Tokyo," said Kerry, speaking at the UK Coaching Awards, which honours sports coaches and coaching organisations that have demonstrated success over the previous 12 months.

"It might sound a little sad but that's what I'm excited about, winning after winning is the big challenge.

"Those that are young enough to go through to Tokyo are an exciting bunch, as is the next set behind them, so January 9 is when we start in earnest gearing up for 2020.

"We've seen everything over these six months, but the bit that's given me the most pride since the gold is how the athletes behaved, how they've handled themselves and how they've gone on to inspire the next generation.

"That gold has not really sunk in. I was the guy watching Daley Thompson win medals in 1984 and wanted to be the guy winning too, I never harboured ambitions of being a coach and it's serendipity that has led me to that role."

While Kerry believes fate has brought him his rewards, it's an opportunity he has far from left to chance, and he was awarded the Mussabini prize at the UK Coaching Awards on Tuesday night for leading the gold medal side.

The annual celebration, organised by Sports Coach UK, honours sports coaches and coaching organisations who have demonstrated outstanding success over the previous 12 months, with HRH The Princess Royal on hand to present the awards.

Also shortlisted as the High Performance Coach of the Year, it's a ride far from one year in the making for the London 2012 Olympic bronze, Commonwealth Games 2014 silver and European Championships 2015 gold-medal winning team, with Kerry already eyeing up the next steps.

"For all of the coaches it means a huge amount to be there, it's our one chance in the year to have the recognition for all of the work that goes on behind the scenes," he continued.

"Everyone needs that, the athletes certainly do and to get that moment in the sun is vitally important to recognise everything.

"I would do it if it never paid, I love it with a passion and I enjoy what I do. Being successful with the team is wonderful, but I love what I do.

"I've had the good fortune of meeting people in environments that are far more challenging than what I do. The time they give, voluntarily, because they love what they do and believe in what they're doing.

"There are so many of them all over the country and coaches play such a pivotal role in sport and participation, so nights like this are fantastic."

Sportsbeat 2016