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Top award for ‘inspiring’ coach

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By Lisa Barbour
Sport
Top award for 'inspiring' coach

A DEDICATED rugby coach has won a prestigious sporting award for his work with young players across Annandale and Eskdale.

Gary Coupland, of Annan, will be awarded the sportscotland Young Persons Coach of the Year award at the sports body’s national Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards ceremony next week.
Commenting on his achievement, which will be presented at the City Halls in Glasgow’s Candleriggs on Wednesday, Gary said: “I am completely overwhelmed to be receiving this award. I am passionate about rugby and I get so much enjoyment out of seeing the kids progress and achieve great things in the sport, so to be given an award for that is just the icing on the cake.
“Rugby is such a fantastic sport as anyone can take part and I find that the kids that come along really get stuck in and even if they don’t want to progress to a more senior level they still get so much out of it.”
Since retiring four years ago, Gary has thrown everything into building Annan’s rugby club and over the past two years has been instrumental in the club witnessing a staggering 600 per cent increase in youth involvement.
Annan Rugby Club president Neil Wallace said: “Since retiring, Gary has completely transformed and rejuvenated the club thanks to his dedication and commitment to the sport.
“The kids love being around him as he is such a fun character and he motivates them to achieve success.”
And sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris also praised Gary’s efforts.
He added: “Gary is a true inspiration and the fact that he has increased youth involvement in rugby by 600 per cent is extraordinary and something he should be incredibly proud of.
“He is such a deserving winner of this award and to see how much enjoyment the kids get out of their rugby coaching is a testament to his work.”

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