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Midlands coaching award for Cockerill

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Richard Cockerill has been voted the Midlands Coach of the Year.

Cockerill guided Tigers to the Guinness Premiership title last season and was honoured at the Midlands Coaching Conference at Warwick University for his work encouraging coaches at all levels.

“Richard is just as likely to offer help and encouragement to a coach at a club at the lower end of the league structure as he is a Leicester player,” said Ian Bletcher, the RFU’s Coach Development Officer for the West Midlands.

Cockerill said: “Coaches are only as good as their players and we have a great set of players at this club, right through from the seniors to the Academy guys.

“I’m honoured to receive the coaching award but I dedicate it to all of the players and the support staff here.

“We had a good season in 2009/10 in the Academy, Development XV and Premiership but now we’re hard at work to build on that in the new season.”

Dave Morris of Loughborough Students was voted the Midlands Community Coach of the Year for his work not only with the National Three North club but also encouraging Loughborough students to get involved in coaching through the BOOST – Building On Overlooked Sporting Talent – project.

Former Birmingham hooker John Domachi received the West Midlands Coaching Co-Ordinator of the Year Award for his efforts at Birmingham & Solihull where close links have been forged between the senior and junior sections of the RFU Championship club.

Bill Linnell of Kettering took the equivalent award in the East Midlands for his work as coaching co-ordinator of the East Northamptonshire clubs cluster.

The Outstanding Contribution to Coaching Award was presented to Elfyn Pugh of Willenhall for more than 40 years of voluntary service to the Staffordshire Coaching Society. Pugh helped found the society with former Wales international Gwyn Bayliss in 1968 and has been involved ever since. He has also coached at youth level at Willenhall and is a past president of the Staffordshire RFU.