Norfolk table tennis coaching duo share national award, thanks to praise from a Norwich City legend

Sam Rock and Jordy Gabriel have jointly been named at the ETTA National Young Coach of the Year 2014. Pictured (from left) is Sam Rock, Joseph and Jacob Goss, Jordy Gabriel. Photo: Michelle Savage
Sam Rock and Jordy Gabriel have jointly been named at the ETTA National Young Coach of the Year 2014. Pictured (from left) is Sam Rock, Joseph and Jacob Goss, Jordy Gabriel. Photo: Michelle Savage

Thursday, March 6, 2014
12:55 PM

Two Norfolk table tennis coaches have jointly won a national award from the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA).

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Norwich City legend Jeremy Goss has high praise for duo

Among the parents to support Rock and Gabriel’s nomination was former Norwich City and Wales midfielder Jeremy Goss, who still lives in the Norwich area following his retirement from the game.

Goss, whose 15-year-old twins Jacob and Joseph are coached by the duo at Wensum Table Tennis Club, said: “I would like to highlight the influential contribution made by two coaches, Sam Rock and Jordy Gabriel.

“In my opinion I consider them to be both methodical and energetic coaches who, professionally, break down and work through elements of the game, pinpoint clearly all terms and techniques and display excellent communication skills.

“More importantly their shot demonstrations are always of a very high standard.

“As a spectator/parent looking on I believe they have both been instrumental in the development of all the young players associated with the club and I know that my sons, Joseph and Jacob, have thoroughly enjoyed their fun and productive sessions and have benefited greatly from their coaching expertise.”

Sam Rock and Jordy Gabriel, who both play and coach players in the Norwich & District Table Tennis League, have claimed the ETTA National Young Coach of the Year 2014.

The pair received their award at the English National Senior Championships at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield on Saturday.

The pair were nominated for their award by Mark Dare, who runs the ETTA Norfolk and Suffolk Regional Development Centres in Norwich, Stowmarket and Ipswich.

Mr Dare also supported his nominations with a host of comments from parents who have seen the young duo coach their children.

Gabriel, 18, is already a UKCC Level One coach and will be attending the UKCC Level Two course at St Neots this year.

An accomplished junior player at local, regional and national level, he also runs a satellite club at the school he used to attend, City Academy Norwich, and has assisted Mark Dare at a number of Active Norfolk Playground to Podium and other disability coaching sessions.

Rock is already a UKCC Level Two coach and is hoping to progress to UKCC Level Three in the future.

He coaches the Norfolk county Junior and Cadet teams and although much of his coaching is voluntary at the moment, he hopes to become a full-time coach.

Do you know someone local who has won national acclaim recently? Contact sports reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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