A taekwondo teacher who has dedicated more than 30 years to coaching has won a prestigious award for services to sport.
Mike McKenzie, from Penistone, picked up the 2013 South Yorkshire sport coach of the year title for his work at Quest Taekwondo Club.
He began training in taekwondo in 1979 before founding the club, based at Penistone Grammar School, nine years later. This year marks his 25th year as a coach and instructor.
Mike, who holds his seventh black belt, said: “I’m honoured to be the South Yorkshire Sport coach of the year. I have dedicated the last 30 years of my life to delivering high quality sports experiences in taekwondo and there are many more years ahead.”
During the last 25 years Mike has been involved in many of the defining moments of taekwondo, including being a member of the delegation that successfully lobbied for the sport to be included in the Olympic Games. He was also the sport manager for taekwondo at London 2012.
Student Holly Ullyott said: “Mike always strives to ensure his athletes are getting the best sporting experience they can and supports competitors 100 per cent.”
The trophy was awarded at the grammar school by Michelle Hayden, coaching development manager at South Yorkshire Sport.
She said: "I never anticipated we’d find such a dedicated coach across all ability levels. Mike truly is an inspiration for others to get involved in coaching, volunteering and participating in sport.
"He is tireless in his efforts to give his students the best experience he can. Not only in terms of his own time and expertise, but also in terms of arranging visits from world renowned instructors and coaches, providing first-class equipment, and encouraging a committee that looks after all aspects of the club.”
Mike has now been nominated for the National Sports Coach UK Coaching Awards held in November 2013.