BRITISH and world kickboxing champion Adam Beniston has been crowned coach of the year at the Lincolnshire Sports Awards.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Mablethorpe, was presented with the award by BBC Sport TV presenter Dan Walker at the annual ceremony held at the Epic Centre at Lincolnshire Showground on Thursday. It was organised by Lincolnshire Sports Partnership.
He beat off strong competition to scoop the prize, and was also named as runner-up as Lincolnshire sportsman of the year.
Adam has run East Coast Martial Arts in Mablethorpe since moving from Mansfield in 2009. The full-time academy in has grown in stature since, attracting over 100 members aged from just two years old right up to an 87-year-old Tai Chi enthusiast.
The academy has launched the sporting careers of a number of members. Adam has coached a double world kickboxing champion, a world karate silver medallist and one double world kickboxing silver medallist.
Adam said: “It came out of the blue as I didn’t know anything about it until I got the invite.
“I was nominated last year but didn’t make the shortlist so it was a great surprise.
“It meant a lot to be named coach of the year; it’s always nice to have a pat on the back.
“The real reward for me though is to see the members winning in competitions and becoming more confident and inspired. I try to lead by example and push them to go further.”
Martial arts have been Adam’s passion since he was just two.
As a coach he takes in members of all ages and backgrounds, often transforming their shy demeanours into those of confidence and energy.
Adam continued: “The night was fantastic, I was really inspired by the other athletes especially the younger ones. There is a wealth of talent in the area.
“I want to thank all of my students as I couldn’t have achieved this award without them.
“I always tell them that I only open the door to them and they are the ones who must walk through it.”
Ray Sylvestor from Alford won the Lifetime Achievement Award after being involved in the East Lincolnshire Combination Football League Committee since its inception over 40 years ago in a number of roles.