Melanie wins Disability Coach of the Year

Aylesbury multi-sport coach Melanie Timberlake has been confirmed as Disability Coach of the Year at the 2018 UK Coaching Awards.
Aylesbury multi-sport coach Melanie Timberlake has been confirmed as Disability Coach of the Year at the 2018 UK Coaching Awards.

Aylesbury multi-sport coach Melanie Timberlake has been confirmed as Disability Coach of the Year at the 2018 UK Coaching Awards.

Aylesbury multi-sport coach Melanie Timberlake has been confirmed as Disability Coach of the Year at the 2018 UK Coaching Awards.

The showpiece annual event, which is seen as one of the most prestigious by the coaching community, took place at The Honourable Artillery Company, London on Thursday 29 November 2018.

Ikkaido Head Coach Timberlake, who is based at the Stoke Mandeville National Centre for Disability Sport and manager of a further three disability football teams, has shown phenomenal resilience to overcome a troubling childhood, post-natal depression and brain surgery to inspire others through a shared love of sport.

A knee injury aged 17 ended her running career and after post-natal depression and managing her children’s disabilities, all of which took its toll on her mental well-being, she was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. She was later subject to brain surgery which left her with her own disabilities to manage.

However, two years ago she decided to take her sons to learn martial arts. The inclusive environment boosted her confidence, improved her outlook and she fell in love with the sport.

She began helping out at the sessions and never looked back, later achieving her coaching qualifications. She credits this new role to her ever increasing mental well-being, confidence, self-worth and enjoyment of life. Her children are excelling and she’s taken on more coaching responsibilities at Stoke Mandeville National Centre for Disability Sport and through her disability football coaching.

Upon receiving her award, Timberlake said:

“Coaching has transformed my life and I can’t believe that I am now Disability Coach of the Year. I would like to thank everybody who has supported me on my journey.

“I only hope that I am able to help change the lives of the people I coach and help them realise that no matter what life throws at you, there is always an escape, and that sport and physical activity provides that. For me, being able to coach means the world.”

Emma Atkins, Director of Coaching at UK Coaching said:

“The UK Coaching Awards is a way for the nation to praise the great coaching that takes place, and a chance for us in the coaching sector to reflect and celebrate the effect great coaching has on society.

“We are privileged to be able to recognise more great coaching again, especially, in a year where we’ve worked hard to help the public understand what great coaching looks like following the launch of the first ever Coaching Week.

“I am also thrilled to see that more women coaches were recognised for their great coaching expertise, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of many partners who work tirelessly to ensure we create a culture in the coaching sector where everyone can thrive.

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners – as well as the finalists – for their incredible achievements and for benefiting the lives of so many. Well done”