VOTING has opened today for a prestigious national award which Old Otliensians have been nominated for.

The Otley rugby union club's coaching team of Kris Stafford, Stephen Quinn and Harrison Marshall masterminded their greatest day by winning the RFU Junior Vase at Twickenham in May.

That saw them selected on the shortlist for UK Coaching's Great Coaching Moment of the Year award along with Gareth Southgate and Tracey Neville.

Southgate led England's footballers to the World Cup semi-finals while Neville coached the ladies' national side to a historic Commonwealth Games netball gold medal after beating Australia.

Public voting for the award is now open and will close on Thursday, November 29, with the winner announced at the UK Coaching Awards that night at The HAC in London.

Otliensians head coach Stafford said: “Steve, Harrison and I are over the moon with being nominated for Great Coaching Moment award. It's always nice to receive recognition for the work you do, but to receive it on a national platform is unbelievable.

“It's amazing the power sport can have on a community, and to be nominated by someone locally for this achievement is a huge honour and we are very grateful to them.

"To be on a short list with household names like Gareth Southgate and Tracey Neville is unbelievable, they are both incredible and highly regarded coaches within their sports and in the wider sports coaching community.

“One of the key objectives I have at the heart of my sessions is to make them learner-centred through utilising games-based coaching sessions to provide all players with opportunities to problem solve and make decisions.

"When working in any sports domain it’s really important to keep sessions fun and engaging, as this develops the individual’s skills and also provides them with physical and mental health benefits.”

Southgate, who took England to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for this UK Coaching Award and I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of my support staff who, as I’m sure all coaches would agree, are key to the success of any team.

“Awards like this are a chance to celebrate examples of coaching excellence across the country and the role that plays in inspiring individuals to be the best they can be.”

England netball head coach Neville said: “I am absolutely honoured to be shortlisted along with very experienced coaches. Coaching is now more than a job but a way of life for me, it has grown me as a person and given me once in a lifetime experiences. Coaching challenges me on a daily basis to be better than myself and support a talented group of athletes and staff who strive to be world class.

“When you talk about achieving your dreams, the Commonwealth Games was where my dream was made. The minute the shot went in it felt like the beginning of a glorious journey for the Roses and a long time coming.”

UK Coaching’s Emma Atkins said: "It is great to see a range of coaching moments being celebrated from local to international level.

"We encourage the public to vote on who they think should claim the inaugural Great Coaching Moment title from our three fantastic finalists.”

Votes can be placed on the UK Coaching website at