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Gareth Southgate beaten to prestigious coaching award by Leeds Beckett duo

Gareth Southgate might have masterminded a triumphant World Cup campaign for England, but he has been beaten to a leading coaching award by Leeds Beckett coaches and MSc Sport Coaching students, Kris Stafford and Harrison Marshall. 

The pair have been recognised for the Greatest Coaching Moment of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards for their achievements with amateurs Old Otliensians RUFC, also seeing off England netball, and former Leeds Beckett coach, Tracey Neville.

Alongside fellow coach Stephen Quinn, Kris and Harrison guided the club to the Junior Vase trophy, a competition for amateur teams across the country, defeating South Molton 32-21 at Twickenham last May.

Kris, a former Leeds Beckett student and now rugby development officer for the university’s Sport & Active Lifestyles team, and Harrison, a current Master’s student and fellow Beckett coach, volunteer at the club and have enjoyed a stellar year. As well as scooping the Junior Vase, they guided the team to promotion to the Yorkshire second division.

Kris said: “We brought a small market town of Otley together for one day in Twickenham and this award makes it a more special moment than it already was.

“It’s not the players, the secretary or the team manager responsible for this award - it’s everyone in Otley who got behind us.”


Head of Sport & Active Lifestyles Sally Nickson said “We are incredibly proud and honoured to see Kris and Harrison claim such a prestigious award.

“Their efforts, along with Stephen, show the tremendous hard work of the club and indeed the community in supporting their team throughout their incredible journey and their recognition, ahead of elite level coaches, speaks volumes of their achievements.”

Congratulations to Kris, Harrison, Stephen and everybody involved at Otliensians for winning the prestigious award.



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