16 May 2019
Against competition from four of the UK’s top national coaches, Truro High School’s Director of Sport Kat Barbery-Redd has been crowned the winner of England Hockey’s prestigious Coach of the Year Award.
One of only five people in the country to make the shortlist, Kat beat off competition from finalists including three England Hockey performance centre coaches and the coach of the gold medal winning England Over 35s Women’s Team.
The only school and county level coach to make the shortlist, Kat was named the nation’s top hockey coach at a glittering awards ceremony in Leicester this weekend.
She was nominated for the award by parents, her hockey teams and the School in recognition of her work as coach to Cornwall Hockey U14 Girls team, Newquay 1st and 2nd 11s as well as 12 teams at Truro High.
Her coaching has led to regional qualifications for every age group that competes at Truro High and has led its Under 16 team to rank third in the UK in the Tier 3 hockey national finals.
She is also much in demand for holiday-time coaching through the Peninsula Hockey Academy.
The award recognises coaches who are outstanding and inspiring role models and who create environments that encourage more better and happier players. Candidates must also have demonstrated commitment to their own personal development and to have established a positive culture and dynamic within their coaching environment.
Her dedication and commitment to young Cornish players were commended by the judges who said that “she has done an amazing job to get them to the standard they are now.” They also commented that “without Kat and her great ability to coach and develop, there would be less hockey players in Cornwall.”
Commenting on her success, Kat said: “I genuinely didn’t expect it – I’m absolutely blown away. I thought we were just going up to have a fantastic night celebrating hockey so when they said my name it was just amazing, the best feeling”
“Cornwall often gets overlooked when it comes to hockey facilities and resources so I think it’s really important to me to help players to be the best they can be. As a player, I have never really been coached so I want people to come away from my sessions feeling that they have taken away something new.”