Rochdale sports therapist and coach shortlisted for UK Coaching Hero award for her pandemic efforts

Date published: 11 June 2021

A Rochdale sports therapist and strength and conditioning coach has been shortlisted for a UK Coaching Hero award.

Mia Pedro, who runs JPR Sports Therapy on Bury Road with fellow therapist James Ratcliffe, specialises in coaching those over 50, under 18s and children with special needs, including a national team Paralympic hopeful.

A sports therapist for 13 years, Mia and business partner James opened JPR seven months ago just before the second lockdown.

Before the pandemic, Mia was teaching 14 fitness classes a week, mainly to the over 50s.

Concerned how isolation and lack of movement would affect them, Mia took her sessions online – and provided them for free – to keep everyone as active as she could.

She said: “My main concern was them: how being stuck in isolation and lack of movement was going to cause health issues such as lower back pain, sciatica etc.

“They were going to regress in all their hard work and end up causing more pressure on the NHS, so I took all my sessions online and kept them as active as I possibly could and kept checking in on all the ladies and doing what I could to help.“

Mia also provided support to the families of autistic children by keeping their appointments via Zoom coaching and she also started to do shopping runs for those isolating and living alone.

The sports therapist also raised £380 for the Teenage Cancer Trust with a squat challenge, donating £1 for every person who joined in via Facebook Live in performing 100 squats a day.

Mia added: “I am absolutely over the moon with this nomination. I wasn’t expecting it and just knowing that my contribution has helped someone, that’s to me, a victory in itself.”

From nearly 500 public nominations, 75 coaches across the UK have been shortlisted as finalists for the UK Coaching awards initiative, which recognises and celebrates the innovations and achievements of coaches who inspired the nation to keep moving during the coronavirus lockdowns.

UK Coaching Director of Coaching, Emma Atkins, said: “Many congratulations to all our finalists and to the hundreds of other coaches who were nominated. Each of your stories were incredibly inspiring and showed how invaluable you are to your communities.

“The work of great coaches, changes lives. And that is what you’ve done over the past 12 difficult months. You have brought people together through sport and physical activity sessions, whether online or one-to-one, and provided connections and support.

“These awards, hopefully, go a little way in recognising our finalists’ achievements and sacrifices and gives the public an opportunity to read their stories – that is, the stories of coaches from 65 different places around the UK and representing nearly 40 sports and activities, who answered a call to keep people and communities healthy and happy during a pandemic. We’re indebted to your commitment to person-centred coaching.”

UK Coaching opened nominations to its awards initiative in 2020 after the first major UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown. The charitable organisation wanted to acknowledge the efforts of coaches, who in difficult circumstances persevered and re-thought coaching techniques to deliver legal digital and one-to-one training, utilising sport and physical activity to keep people connected.

Voting is open until midday on Monday (14 June). Votes will then be counted and winners announced at a ceremony in September.

To vote for Mia, please visit:

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