A DUDLEY coach developer has been honoured for the work he has done with coaches, staff and volunteers across the region.

Rus Smith, who works for StreetGames, picked up the Coach Developer of the Year prize at the 2017 UK Coaching Awards.

After developing a support programme called ‘Coach Mate Connector’, Rus’ project has been integrated into the work of StreetGames and delivered nationally, outside of the classroom.

The concept is based on trust and respect and enables people to successfully build and improve their professional development alongside formal training.

His passion for the region has led Smith to support organisations closer to home, offering his coach developing services to the FA and the Stourbridge football league.

Rus, who said he was “honoured” to be announced as the award winner, added: “Coaches are so important, and it’s vital to ensure that even coaches are developed properly, so I am glad that my work, and the work of everyone at StreetGames and the projects we work with has been recognised.”

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer of UK Coaching said: “Developing coaches is no easy task, however, Rus has done an excellent job in giving the coaches the support and guidance they need to develop professionally.

“He is fully deserving of the Coach Developer of the Year award.”

This year’s event marked the 20th anniversary of the UK Coaching Awards, which saw an expert judging panel choose their winners from an impressive list of finalists, following a record number of nominations.