Equicoach Lisa Ashton, a contributor, friend and long-time supporter of Horses and People, is one of a handful of shortlisted finalists in the UK Coaching Hero 2021 awards.

The UK Coaching awards celebrates and rewards the coaches who have continued to keep people active, and delivered sport and physical activity sessions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through its ‘UK Coaching Hero 2021’ awards, the public was encouraged to nominate coaches who implemented great coaching ideas and have made positive contributions to people’s mental and physical wellbeing over the last 12 months.

Lisa was nominated and has made the shortlist of finalists!

Throughout this UK Coaching Week from June 7th to 13th, the public – from anywhere in the world – can cast their votes in support.

Click here to vote for Lisa!  

Emma Atkins, Director of Coaching for UK Coaching, said: “There has been an immense strain on the physical and mental health of the nation, with winter months and financial constraints playing a huge part. Yet, throughout the pandemic, coaches have found innovative, safe and legal ways to deliver sport and physical activity sessions and it is not an exaggeration to state that they have been a constant source of hope for many people during these isolating times.

“Coaching Hero is our opportunity to give back to the coaches that have enriched our lives in lockdown – when we needed them most.”

During the first lockdown of 2020, Lisa launched a four week programme (The Equestrian Coach Challenge) aimed at equestrian coaches to explore the concept of a social license within equestrianism.

“We met online each weekday and discussed the issues we face as coaches, both during the normal world but also how we could adapt during the pandemic. We discussed confidence, mental health, how to promote positive, supportive environments – both online and in the real world and were also pushed out of our comfort zones to trial different coaching formats. We also took a hard look at our moral responsibilities to our horses and clients alike”, says Lisa.

As a group, when it felt like the world was collapsing around us, many coaches benefited from a safe, supportive environment which gave all a collective courage to evaluate their contributions to clients and their horses, to reflect on triumphs and failures.

“We were pushed out of our comfort zones and encouraged to take an honest and open reflection of our coaching styles, communication and empathy” said one of the participants. “This changed us all to the benefit of both clients and their horses and firmly put our responsibility to the horse foremost in our approach.”

Lisa is the only equestrian coach that made the shortlist of finalists. Anyone, anywhere in the world can vote – Click here to cast yours!