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Cockerill collects BBC regional award

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Richard Cockerill has been named BBC East Midlands Coach of the Year for 2009.

Since taking over in January, the former England hooker guided Tigers to victory in the 2008/09 Guinness Premiership Final and also saw the team finish runners-up in the Heineken Cup.

Cockerill was presented his award by Olivia Murphy, former England netball captain and coach to Loughborough Lightning, at the BBC East Midlands Sports Awards ceremony at Loughborough University on Thursday.

He said: “The players need to take the credit because we have a great squad and they are the ones who go out there and do it.

“I am very proud to coach Leicester Tigers and I am aware of the responsibility. We have very high standards at the club and the expectations are that we will be there or thereabouts every season.”

Tigers were also nominated in the Team of the Year category won by Loughborough University Swimming Club, while Tigers supporter Lee Penfold was presented with the Judges Special Award for his work promoting the Special Olympics 2009.

Mark Shardlow, sports editor of BBC East Midlands Today, said: "It has been a terrific year for sport across the East Midlands. It was great to see so many champions and winners in one room.”

The full list of winners:
Sports Personality of the Year:
Carl Froch
Football Achievement: Nigel Pearson
Coach of the Year: Richard Cockerill
Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: Richard Whitehead
Team of the Year: Loughborough University Swimming Club
Junior Sportsperson of the Year: Sam Oldham
Junior Disabled Sportsperson of the Year: Maddie Thompson
Brian Clough Breakthrough Award: James Taylor
Judges Special Award: Lee Penfold
Lifetime Achievement: George Gandy
Enterprise in Sport Award: Abacus Lighting
BBC Sports Unsung Hero: Roger Jones
BBC Power of Sport Award supported by Sport England: Nottingham Unity