Kim is Community Coach Award winner

AN ANNACLONE coach has been honoured for her tireless work to get local women active and involved in sport, after being named Community Coach of the Year at the 2018 Sport NI SportMaker Awards.

Kim Godsman has been coaching in the Annaclone area for the past two years. Her work targets women who have struggled to enjoy exercise in the past, or who have had limited access to exercise facilities and sports opportunities.

Having originally established her coaching service in Annaclone, Kim’s use of social media to engage new participants, together with positive word of mouth, has seen her work expand to the surrounding areas.

Kim now delivers 30 female-only sessions to around 60 participants every week, supporting women from 14 to 64 years of age to get active. Kim’s success as a coach has also led to her establishing the Annaclone Blister Sisters running group, as well as regular social netball sessions.

Sport NI’s SportMaker Awards recognise the contribution of the local sporting working - the coaches, officials, volunteers and projects making a difference in helping people enjoy, engage and excel in sport.

The Community Coach of the Year award is awarded to outstanding coaches who have widened access to sport through excellent and innovative practice, particularly among groups with traditionally low participation in sport.

The award was presented to Kim during a busy session in Annaclone GAC on Tuesday, 6 November. The trophy was presented by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Deputy Lord Mayor Paul Duffy, along with Sport NI’s Talent Systems Manager Alan Curran and ABC Sports Forum Chairperson Edith Jamison.

Geraldine Fusciardi, chairperson of Annaclone Enagagement Group, who nominated Kim for her award, said: “With her innovative approach, Kim has inspired women of all ages to engage with a variety of exercises.

“Annaclone is a small, rural area and most of the women Kim is coaching now would previously had limited opportunity to participate in these sorts of activities together.

“Kim is really effective at helping people to find enjoyable methods of training in a small, friendly and supportive environment. Annaclone has been changed dramatically for the better by her coaching.”

Reacting to her win, Kim Godsman said: “I’m ecstatic! I come from a health service background so getting healthy is really important to me.

“As a result of that I understand that doing exercise is one of the best things you can do to be healthy, to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer etc, so I’m really passionate about getting people to exercise.

“I’m really proud of the women of Annaclone - I’ve just been a facilitator, they have been fantastic. Everything I’ve put forward they’ve embraced and we’ve all enjoyed growing it together.”

Congratulating Kim on her award, Sport NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown added: “The SportMaker Awards are all about shining a light on the local coaches, officials and volunteers making a difference in communities across Northern Ireland, who all too often go unnoticed.

“Throughout the sport sector, it is recognised that more needs to be done to get more women and girls involved and participating, and Kim has demonstrated tremendous commitment and leadership at a local level to making this happen.

“The many and varied opportunities she is delivering week in, week out in Annaclone and beyond and the growing number of participants is testament to her talent as a coach and her success in creating a supportive and fun coaching environment.”

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