OLD Otliensians coach Kris Stafford has hailed the power of the community, as he and fellow coaches Harrison Marshall and Stephen Quinn picked up the 2018 Great Coaching Moment of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards in London.

They faced stiff competition too, with their win in the RFU Junior Vase final at Twickenham in May up against the small matter of Gareth Southgate's England reaching the World Cup semi-final and Tracey Neville's England netballers winning Commonwealth gold.

The Old Otliensians trio emerged with an incredible win, with a tight public vote being decided by the West Yorkshire side's avid followers.

Stafford admitted to being overwhelmed to pick up the award, and he was quick to recognise everyone involved, enthusing: "That's the power of community sport because everyone was pushing for us to win.

"This award isn't just for the coaches and players, it's for the whole community and what the Vase success did for the town of Otley.

"Everyone loves an underdog story and it's nice to get recognised at the highest level."

He was grateful for the power of the Internet too, adding: "It's still not sunk in that we've won. It was really tight on the night but our social media campaign just got us over the line in the end.

"Hopefully it's good for the club because we're only small, so we could use the publicity to help us out. We've been in the local paper a few times but not on a national scale like this.

"Rugby union is a difficult industry in which to get your name heard if you've only played at amateur level but The Daily Telegraph had us as their lead sports article and the BBC and ITV wrote about it too."

Stafford is only 31, and fellow coach Marshall is only 22, so he hopes the coaching award and recognition could do wonders for the pair's careers.

He enthused: "Having this on our CV should only up doors for me and Harrison because we're still young in coaching terms.

He's doing his masters in sports coaching and I've just finished mine. It's great to have Steve's experience alongside us too, with him being in his 60s."

Stafford believes that a tight-knit set up is key to Old Otliensians' success, saying: "The three of us (Stafford, Marshall and Quinn) work well together as coaches and we try to promote the fact that we're good mates.

"It's the same with the players as they all went to school together. We want to create and build an environment that the players can enjoy, and we have all the right people here to be successful."