Bev Bunyan wins Coach of the Year at the Active York Sports Awards

York Railway Institute Judo Club’s Level 3 coach, Bev Bunyan, picked up the Coach of the Year award at the Active York Sports Awards, sponsored by North Yorkshire Sport.

Winning the award was a complete surprise for Bev: “I received an email to say I’d been nominated but I didn’t think any more about it. Not long after I received another email inviting me to the awards dinner, we went along and I was one of the three nominees shortlisted in my category. Then the award was given to myself! It was fantastic!

“Judo’s always been my life, I got such a lot out of it as a kid, then I went into coaching; it was a natural progression for me. Coaching judo has never been a job – it’s something I enjoy doing. It’s terrific to even be acknowledged, but to win the award was an honour,” said a delighted Bev.

Bev, who has been an active member of the club for last 38 years worked her way from Juniors as a teenager, through to Seniors, gaining her black belt and progressing into coaching in 1983 following the departure of David and Sally Peake, the previous head coaches.

She has coached many players who went on to win County, Regional and National titles as well as coaching on busy Junior session training nights. Helen Gill, a parent of children who attend the club said: “I value Bev’s compassion and care for the well-being of my children and am in awe of her patience and perseverance.

“I have always found there to be a family atmosphere at the club and Bev is instrumental in maintaining the perfect balance between a love of learning and the discipline required in such a competitive contact sport. She does this seemingly without any effort, as her natural ability to explain complex moves and teach good technique is coupled with her own high achievement in the sport.

“She personifies the fact that Judo is about being healthy, having the right attitude, committing to something worthwhile and most of all having fun.

“She is a true ambassador for Judo and for York as she is an example to us all in selfless giving for the benefit of others”.

Bev explained: “I just do the normal things every coach does; go to sessions week in and week out, put a lot of hours in and take kids to different events. You give whatever you’ve got to get your kids to perform to the best of their ability.

“The major spin off from coaching is seeing how these young people grow in self-confidence and self-esteem especially when you see them achieve their goals in live and progress in their chosen careers.

“Keeping the players off the streets and away from the negative elements in society has alwaysbeen a major motivation for me and one of the hidden secrets that judo and other positive activities can bring”.

Bev made it clear that all the coaches at the club should be recognised for their efforts: “We have a comprehensive and highly competent team of coaches at the club that have developed and been brought through over the years. I’m getting older and we need new blood.

“The club’s been running for 60 years and we don’t want it to end if we can help it. That’s what we should be doing as coaches, bringing the next generation of coaches through to make sure the sport continues to thrive – that’s really important”.


If you want to opportunity to be coached by the Active York Coach of the Year, Bev Bunyan, York Railway Institute Judo Club trains on Mondays and Fridays and new members are always welcome.

The North Yorkshire Development Group are organising the inaugural North Yorkshire Judo Festival on Saturday 30th May 2015 at the York Railway Institute. For further information visit the club’s website at For general information call John Bunyan on 01904 700 693 or contact coaches Bev and Jamie via


Do you know someone who’s worthy of an award for all the hard work they put into their club? Nominate them now for an award at the 9th British Judo Annual Awards Dinner here:


Image Credit: The Press, York