Alexandra teenager Duncan Sutherland has landed himself the title of BMX New Zealand South Island coach of the year.
The Dunstan High School pupil received the accolade during the BMX national awards at the annual meeting dinner in Wellington last week.
Duncan joined the Alexandra BMX Club in 2008, at the age of7.
He has built up a reputation as a promising young rider and coach, taking children aged 3-7 under his wing.
Duncan, who teams up with young riders for coaching sessions within the Alexandra club and Mainland Southland region, completed the Cycling New Zealand level 1 foundation coaching course last year.
He took on the role after another coach had to step aside due to injury.
Under Duncan’s guidance, several riders have had success within BMX New Zealand, taking South Island and national titles.
“It’s good to see the riders become faster and more skilled,” Duncan said when asked what he enjoyed most about coaching.
He balances coaching duties with his own training, particularly as he strives to retain his BMX New Zealand and South Island rankings.
Alexandra BMX Club president Tony Nelson said Duncan was an asset to the club.
“As far as his coaching ability goes, it’s absolutely outstanding the way he can communicate – all the kids look up to him.”
Mr Nelson said the respect the young riders showed Duncan was mirrored by parents of those riders.
The club was proud to have someone of his calibre on board, he said.
“He is one of the most talented riders we have in the area [and] it’s the first time our club has received an award that high for coaching.”