A Leeds-based coach who has played a prominent role in developing the talent of Olympic diving stars has been recognised with a prestigious award.
As part of the British Coaching Awards, City of Leeds Diving Club head coach Ady Hinchliffe who is based at the John Charles Centre for Sport, was recognised for his outstanding achievements with the coveted Mussabini Medal. Named after Sam Mussabini, who was considered to be the first professional coach in sport, the award celebrates ‘the contribution of coaches of UK performers who have achieved outstanding success on the world stage’. Mussabini’s success as a coach at the 1924 Olympics was also portrayed in the legendary film ‘Chariots of Fire’, where he led Harold Abrahams to a gold medal in the 100m and silver in the 4×100m at the games held in Paris.
During his time as head coach of City of Leeds Diving Club and as British Olympic Diving coach, Ady has guided a host of athletes to domestic and international glory. This also includes coaching Chris Mears and Jack Laugher, who are also members of the City of Leeds Diving team, to Rio Olympic glory this year in the 3m synchronised springboard.
In total, Ady has overseen as Great Britain head coach, 9 Junior European medals and 8 World Junior Medals, 10 European medals, 7 Commonwealth medals, 4 World medals and 2 Olympic medals.
Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for sport, said:
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Ady’s calibre as head coach of City of Leeds Diving Club, which based at our very own John Charles Centre for Sport, has produced a string of world-class athletes. As you can imagine, it makes us all very proud to have a council run diving programme held at one of our very own centres, which thanks to the efforts of people like Ady, has helped put Leeds well and truly on the world sporting map.
“The Mussabini Medal is one of the best accolades that a British coach can receive, and it is fitting given Ady’s stellar career, that at this year’s British Coaching Awards he was a recipient of this prize.
“To see Ady’s dream realised of coaching Jack and Chris to Olympic glory this year in Rio was an unbelievable moment, and one that we are sure will not be his last.”
Ady Hinchliffe, head coach of City of Leeds Diving Club and British Olympic Diving coach, said:
“It was a real honour to be recognised with the Mussabini Medal, and I feel truly privileged and humbled to receive an award that some of Britain’s greatest ever coaches have received in the past. To also be the first British diving coach to win the award is unbelievable, and something I could not have dreamt when I started my coaching career.
“I am extremely fortunate to work with some brilliant athletes such as Chris and Jack, and in Edwin Jongejans, a truly exceptional coaching colleague. This award therefore is very much for them as it is for me.”