Trio earn tio honours at British Rowing Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards

PUBLISHED: 06:55 15 February 2017

Dr Phil Gunning, of Cantabrigian Rowing Club, and Dame Katherine Grainger

Dr Phil Gunning, of Cantabrigian Rowing Club, and Dame Katherine Grainger

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Phil Gunning, Simon Emmings and Paul Haines earn recognition

Three members of the Cambridge rowing community have been recognised by the national body.

Dr Phil Gunning, Simon Emmings and Paul Haines all won prizes at the annual British Rowing Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.

Gunning received the club development coach of the year award for his work in developing the junior rowing section at Cantabrigian Rowing Club.

He has helped promote rowing to youngsters who have never been on the water before, encouraging them to take part in diverse events from long distance rows to local head races, regattas and charity rows.

Gill Cooper, the Cantabrigian Rowing Club secretary, said: “The numerous nominations he received for this award speak volumes about the contribution Phil makes and the affection and esteem in which he is held by junior members and their parents.”

Gunning said: “I am very proud to get British Rowing coach of the year and very humbled by all the nice things said about my coaching.”

Chesterton Rowing Club’s Emmings was the Eastern Region winner of the volunteer of the year in the club administration category.

Emmings’ hard work has helped Chesterton have some of their most successful years of rowing, especially on the men’s side, and he has acted as an ambassador for the club in liaising with the local river community.

Chesterton Rowing Club member Paul Holland said: “He is the person you call if you need assistance, and the person who arranges outings, training and pretty much everything!”

And Cantabrigian Rowing Club’s Haines was the Eastern Region winner of the volunteer of the year in the event category.

He first became involved in running the club’s annual Winter Head Race in 1996 and has continued to do so, alongside various other club roles down the years including rowing, coaching, vice-captain, captain, equipment officer and treasurer.

The event has grown from 111 entries in 1998 to 236 in 2016, and Haines manages the administration in the lead-up to the event and then oversees 100 volunteers on the day.

Cooper said: “Paul’s contribution has made this event a key date in the regional racing calendar, especially for many novice student rowers for whom it is their first experience of racing.”

The guest speaker at the awards, which are aimed to showcase the contribution of coaches and volunteers to clubs and the wider rowing community, was Dame Katherine Grainger, the five-time Olympic medallist, who won gold in London and silver in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and at last year’s Games in Rio.

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