Westleigh’s very own queen of the basketball court, Sharon Seaton, was crowned Coach of the Year for 2006 at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards on Friday 23rd March.
Sharon, coach of Westleigh Basketball Club, was automatically nominated when she received the Coach of the Year award at the Wigan Borough Sports Awards in January.
Sharon was honoured due to her tremendous dedication with Westleigh Basketball Club, giving up at least 14 hours per week to deliver seven coaching sessions. Through the club’s outreach programme she has significantly increased basketball participation levels in both primary and secondary school children. A number of Westleigh’s teams also currently play at the Amaechi Centre in Manchester.
Sharon said, “This is so unexpected. When I was reading through the achievements of all the other nominees I had no idea I would win. I would like to dedicate this award to all of the young people at Westleigh and my son Lucas and husband Andy who are very understanding and continue to inspire me. I would also like to thank Wigan Sports Development Unit who have constantly encouraged me to take my coaching qualifications.”
Sharon is currently studying for the Basketball Level Three coaching qualification, which will make her one of the most highly qualified basketball coaches in the country. She is also the only female coach currently on the course.
Sharon continues, “I think this award is testimony to how sport can make a positive difference to young people’s lives. The club has been running for six years now and some of the players are now actually coaches themselves. It is also very unusual for a woman to be coaching basketball at this level and I am very proud of that.”
Lizzie Hendley, Sports Development Officer for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, said, “Sharon really deserves this award. Her level of enthusiasm and dedication is second to none and it really rubs off on the children at the club. It is people like Sharon who make such a huge impact in their community, so it is great to see her pick up this honour. We will continue to support Sharon and hope her efforts and achievements inspire other coaches across the borough to continue with their great work.”
Westleigh Basketball club has recently developed Wigan Borough’s first ever Sunday basketball league. The league aims to encourage young people with little or no experience of basketball to join, particularly boys and girls aged 13 to 16. For further details contact Sharon Seaton on 01942 896845.
All of the Wigan Borough Sports Awards winners, organised by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, were nominated for the Greater Manchester Sports Awards in their respective categories. Those also nominated were: Chris McGreevey (Sports Achiever); John Brown (Wilf Brogan Unsung Hero in Sport); Sonia Malik (Disabled Sports Achiever); Joanna Dunnington (Volunteer in Sport); and Westleigh Basketball Club (Club of the Year).
The Greater Manchester Sports Awards are organised by Greater Sport. For further information visit www.greatersport.co.uk.