09 December 2022

Athletics: Jessica Ennis’ coach Toni Minichiello honoured

November 21, 2012

Jessica Ennis’s coach Antonio ‘Toni’ Minichiello, who helped train her to Olympic heptathlon gold in London, was last night honoured as  Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards.

Athletics: Jessica Ennis’ coach Toni Minichiello honouredMinichiello began training Ennis in Sheffield when she was 11 years old, and helped her achieve silver at the Indoor Athletics World Championships in Istanbul earlier this year, before taking gold at London 2012 in one of the most challenging sports at the Olympics.

The awards last night were held to honour the great coaching and support teams involved in achieving an outstanding year for GB sport and the success of our athletes at London 2012. Minichiello’s fellow nominees included Paul Manning, the Team GB cycling coach, and Jenny Archer, coach to six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir.

Lord Sebastian Coe, British Olympic Association Chairman, has described Minichiello as a “world-class” coach, whilst Tom Fordyce, BBC Chief sports writer, said: “Her [Ennis] Olympic triumph… was a testament to both the enduring strength of their relationship and Minichiello’s ability to tread that fine line between pushing his charge incredibly hard and keeping her injury-free in the most physically demanding event of all.”

Minichiello considers himself a better coach now than at the start of their longstanding and successful relationship, saying: “The truth is, as a coach you’re only as good as the material you’re given. The day I met Jessica Ennis it was like being dealt four aces in a hand of poker.”

Bianca Fermi, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Image credit: Mark Shearman

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