Northampton goalkeeper coach needs your votes to win national award for keeping people fit virtually during lockdown

'I would love to win this award for all who participated as without them it would have been more difficult'

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:24 pm

A Northampton goalkeeper coach needs the public's help to win a national award for his efforts to keep people fit during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Lee Reade has been shortlisted among 75 others for the UK Coaching Hero Awards after nearly 500 nominations from across the country.

Lee has been a football goalkeeper coach for nearly 20 years, helping players who have gone on to play at international youth level and at many clubs from the Northampton and Milton Keynes area.

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Lee Reade has been a football goalkeeper coach for nearly 20 years

With all of his normal coaching lessons cancelled by Covid, he set up CyberCoach to offer free online sessions for anyone to take part in to stay healthy while having to stay at home.

"During this period I broadcast many sessions to help maintain the physical and mental health for those who tuned in and I was always contactable for any reason," he said.

"The CyberCoach sessions soon developed where many family members took part, often becoming my substitute and personal assistants so that the player had maximum participation in the session.

"While I am nominated I would love to win this award for all who participated as without them it would have been more difficult.

Lee Reade was forced to move his coaching onto Zoom like everyone else during the coronavirus lockdowns

"We stayed together as a family and have come through this bad time in a better physical and mental state."

UK Coaching opened nominations to its awards initiative in 2020 after the first lockdown to acknowledge the efforts of coaches during the pandemic.

Voting closes on Monday (June 14) with the winner to be announced at a ceremony in September.

UK Coaching director of coaching Emma Atkins said: "Many congratulations to all our finalists and to the hundreds of other coaches who were nominated.

"Each of your stories were incredibly inspiring and showed how invaluable you are to your communities.

"The work of great coaches, changes lives. And that is what you’ve done over the past 12 difficult months.

"You have brought people together through sport and physical activity sessions, whether online or one-to-one, and provided connections and support.

“These awards, hopefully, go a little way in recognising our finalists’ achievements and sacrifices and gives the public an opportunity to read their stories – that is, the stories of coaches from 65 different places around the UK and representing nearly 40 sports and activities, who answered a call to keep people and communities healthy and happy during a pandemic.

"We’re indebted to your commitment to person-centred coaching.”