Stuart Hogg’s Coaching Chain wins UK Coaching award

The coaches who helped Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg reach the top of the global game have been honoured for a second time for their dedication to nurturing sporting talent.

The group of seven received The Coaching Chain award at the 2017 UK Coaching Awards in London last night (30 November), following their win at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating & Volunteering Awards earlier last month.

The chain includes the coaches who supported Stuart’s professional career with Scotland and Glasgow Warriors, Gregor Townsend and Sean Lineen, as well as BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy coaches, Bryan Easson and Iain Monaghan.

Hogg’s father, John, primary school coach, Mark Wright, and high school skills coach, John ’Rocky’ Johnstone, who helped develop Stuart’s skills and love of the game during his formative years in his home town of Hawick, were also recognised.

Stuart Hogg said: “I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of these people. I would like to thank them for all of their hard work and support over the years.

“This award is well-deserved and I am delighted that they’ve been recognised at the prestigious UK Coaching Awards.”

Hogg’s father, John, was the first person to put a ball in Stuart’s hands and sparked his love of the game.

John Hogg said: “Stuart was always a good runner and had great balance. When he had the ball in two hands he always looked capable of doing something.

Watching Stuart playing, we knew he had something different and hoped that he would go on to play at a higher level.”

Hogg’s nominated chain epitomises the progressive, player-centred support needed to help sportsmen and women reach the highest level.

Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, said: “I’m delighted that Stuart has thought of me as part of his coaching chain recognised by the UK Coaching Awards. It’s been a real pleasure coaching him at professional and national level.

“He has worked hard to develop an excellent all-round skillset and he has a great ability to influence games.

The way he plays has given rugby supporters throughout the land great joy and long may it continue.”

The UK Coaching Awards honour the sports coaches and coaching organisations who have demonstrated success over the previous 12 months, as well as raising the profile of coaches at all levels of sport and physical activity.

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer of UK Coaching, said: “This year’s event has once again seen some of the best examples of coaching throughout the nation celebrated. We would like to thank all of the finalists for their incredible services to coaching.

“These coaches work extremely hard and we are delighted to have been able to recognise their fantastic achievements. This year, we saw a record number of finalists nominated, and our expert judging panel deliberated long and hard to acknowledge the people that have dedicated their lives to the development of others through coaching.”

Stuart Hogg Coaching Chain:

  • John Hogg – Stuart’s dad and the first person to put a rugby ball in his hands
  • Mark Wright – Stuart’s primary school coach at Trinity Primary School – Instrumental in fostering energy and enjoyment in the game at an age when it is hugely important.
  • JohnRockyJohnstone – Stuart’s strength & conditioning and skills coach throughout school up until U16 at Hawick High School - John was Hawick Academy Manager and was in constant contact with Scottish Rugby to ensure that Stuart was up to speed and at the top of his development.
  • Bryan Easson - Present throughout Stuart’s career from Borders U16 to Scotland U20 as a BT Sport Academy Coach – Bryan was his first age-grade Scotland coach at U17 and an important influence on his skills development.
  • Iain Monaghan – BT Sport Academy Coach (Glasgow Warriors) – Academy manager when Stuart signed for Glasgow Warriors and was instrumental in ensuring Stuart had the best possible experience as he began his professional career.
  • Sean Lineen – Stuart’s first senior professional coach at Glasgow Warriors – He introduced Stuart to his position as full-back.
  • Gregor Townsend – Backs Coach at Scotland when Stuart won his first cap and, later, Head Coach at Glasgow Warriors and Scotland – Townsend has been enormously influential on Stuart’s development as a player.