North Shields netball coach Lynne Booth’s will to win on the court was rewarded off it after she was presented with a prestigious prize at the UK Coaching Awards in London.
Booth’s near 50 years of coaching at Riverside Netball Club was recognised at a glittering ceremony as she won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
She rubbed shoulders with the likes of British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland, four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie and Vancouver 2010 skeleton gold medallist Amy Williams.
And, while reluctant to lap up the attention from the great and good of British sport in the capital, Booth did admit that she was made up to have notched up another victory in her fine career.
She said: “I’ve been with Riverside Netball Club for 46 years.
“I started at the YMCA in North Shields and we’ve got that big we’ve ended up at Northumbria University coaching the girls from schools.
“We’ve got a full range of ages from six to 63.
“To go to the awards was absolutely fantastic.
“I don’t like anything like that really, I get a bit nervous, but to win makes it streets better.
“It was wonderful rubbing shoulders with all the great sportsmen and women that were there as well as the other coaches and winners.
“I’m very competitive and I like to win but I like to see the girls start when they are little and go off to university and play for their university teams.”
Booth was among the nominees for one of 12 categories at the UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette, as achievements in developing sport in a wide community in 2013 were recognised.
However Booth insists she takes the most satisfaction from coaching rather than being honoured at awards ceremonies with the likes of Gatland, Ainslie and Williams.
“The highlight for me is coaching as many children as I coach. It’s the most rewarding thing to see them develop and just let them play sport that I love – that’s all there is,” she added.
“They are all budding young stars.
“It doesn’t matter how good they are as long as they enjoy it. That’s what it’s all about.”
The 2013 Gillette Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.
Applications for coaching grants available through the scheme will reopen in 2014, visit www.facebook/com/GilletteUK for more details.