Trampolining coach Lauren sees her efforts recognised

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This year’s student performances have given enormous pleasure to the coaches of the City of Edinburgh Trampoline Club (CETC). It is therefore a fitting tribute that coach Lauren Millar has been named as Sportscotland’s Community Coach of the Year for 2012.

With over 200 nominees for this prestigious national accolade, the Napier University student was ecstatic upon learning of her success in what has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 20-year-old.

She was named Community Coach of the Year at the Activcity Edinburgh Sports Awards at the end of October and was then subsequently invited to a gala event in London for the UK Coaching Awards last month, where she was in the company of Sir Chris Hoy.

“It is a complete shock to have won this award,” Millar said. “I was delighted to have won the Edinburgh award and then my coach told me I had been nominated for Sportscotland, so it’s a great achievement and one I am really proud of.

“I was then selected by Sportscotland for the UK Coaching Awards and went down to London, where the event was held at the Lancaster Hotel. I didn’t win but I managed to get into the final nine which was fantastic. It was a great evening.”

In the midst of studying for her Sports Science degree, Millar devotes a considerable amount of time to her coaching duties with CETC through a range of initiatives, but she paid tribute to the commitment and dedication of a club that continues to excel on all fronts.

“I am hoping to start up a club at Napier University in January and I have also been volunteering for the Craigmillar Youth Challenge. I felt some of the kids there were really good at gymnastics so I thought we’d try to get them trampolining. I’ve also been helping with the Active Schools initiative in East Lothian at Knox Academy, and for a while at Musselburgh Grammar as well, so it’s all just about bringing children into the sport.

“There is great passion with all the coaches and we have a great committee of parent helpers and volunteers so without any of that support, I don’t think we could have achieved what we have as a club. I love coaching the kids and seeing them happy and performing well in competitions.”

CETC’s Mairi Doonan and Kirsty Beaton were also honoured in the Volunteer and Young Persons Coach of the Year categories respectively at the city’s awards ceremony. Beaton, 21, who finished runner-up, underlined the close interaction the club’s mentors have with the students and a positivity, that she believes, has contributed to some excellent results at both local and national competitions this year.

Beaton said: “I started trampolining six years ago and joined the club then, but I have only been coaching full-time since I left school. The kids are determined to improve and we have a really good relationship with them all. Although trampolining is a competitive sport, if the kids don’t want to take it in that way then there is no pressure on them to enter competitions – they can just do it for fun.

“I was really happy when I found out I’d finished runner-up. It was a really good night and we got to meet a few Olympians. I received my award from the boxer, Josh Taylor.”

After a hugely gratifying year for CETC, hopes are high that 2013 will be even better.