Top coaching! We highlight 4J Awards success for Geoff, Alison, Colin

Saturday 26th November 2022

Montage via photos by Bobby Gavin

Our 4J Awards winners in clubs, coaches, volunteers, Officials

Geoff Wightman made it a family double at our 4J Annual Awards when he was named our Performance Coach of the Year alongside son Jake’s victory in the 4J Athlete of the Year category.

British Athletics chief executive Jack Buckner made the presentation to Geoff at the 4J Awards with the renowned commentator (and former scottishathletics chief executive) already on stage as one of our Guests of Honour, alongside Katharine Merry.

Recognising and celebrating coaches is fundamental to our sport and there were further category successes for Alison Grey and Colin Thomas.

Geoff was thrilled with Jake’s individual win – after believing a joint award with Eilish McColgan and Laura Muir might happen.

‘I thought it might well be a tie,’ said Geoff.

‘We don’t get many World Champions but we also do not get many Scottish Commonwealth Champions at a home games in Britain. I’m sure Eilish and Laura were very much in the mix.

‘You get merit rankings, you get annual awards in various forms but I think the only think that really matters is the medals in the summer. But Jake is delighted to win it outright in a special year.

‘It’s been a great year overall but Jake did have a low point in February. He was a DNF in the Muller Grand Prix and then he had Covid. So it took him a couple of weeks to recover from that.

‘Then Jake went on a training camp in America and suddenly it started to look like he was in the form of his life. His racing kicked-on off that spell of training.

‘You have to convert good training blocks but you also have to try and sustain it for certain peaks. And this summer that was across six weeks with three major champs.

‘I do believe switching to 800m for the Europeans was helpful in that. His consistency, with so many top three finishes, across the year was very good.

‘Looking back further you can trace it to the Short Course XC at Lanark last November when he didn’t run well but pretty much through the whole of 2022 he has been top three – and that was a new experience for Jake.’

Also short-listed: Liz McColgan-Nuttall and Andy Young.


Here’s what we said about our two other coach award winners . . .

Development Coach of the Year

This award recognises the coach who has had an impact on the development and performances of the athlete(s) they are working with.

Alison Grey

Alison coaches throws and combined event athletes from a range of clubs.  This year has seen a number of athletes under her tutelage gain national and international honours.

Paige Stevens returned from the U18 European Athletics Championships with a brilliant bronze medal in the shot putt, and Meghan Porterfield recorded Scottish U17 records in both Shot and Discus, the latter a record that had belonged to Alison herself.

Also short-listed: Ross Cairns and David Watson


Community Club Coach of the Year

This award recognises the contribution of the thousands of coaches delivering regular training sessions in our member clubs.

Colin Thomas (West End Road Runners/Bellahouston Harriers)

Colin’s weekly West End Road Runner sessions accommodate around 50-60 runners across three-four groups of different abilities.

He has influenced a number of WERR athletes to take part in regional and national competitions this year, particularly at Masters level.

Colin has also delivered successful inter-club events between WERR and Bellahouston Harriers, for whom he also coaches.

Also short-listed: Mags MacRae and Nigel Thomson (Orkney ARC) and Rachel Watson (Aberdeen AAC).

Tags: 4J Annual Awards, Alison Grey, Bellahouston Harriers, coaching, Colin Thomas, Geoff Wightman, West End Road Runners

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