What do Yu Liguang, Wang Ruiji and Rene Appel have in common? They are all national coaches who have been previous recipients of the Coach of the Year Awards. Behind every great athlete, there's a great coach and it's the time of the year when Hong Kong's top coaches are recognised for their efforts. A record 96 nominations have been made for the prestigious annual Hong Kong Coaching Awards. Winners will be announced at the Grand Hyatt Hotel this afternoon. Organised by the Hong Kong Coaching Committee (HKCC) and sponsored by the Hong Kong Bank Foundation, the awards not only honour the SAR's top coaches, but recognise their efforts in the development of sport in Hong Kong. 'It also recognises the coaches who may not be behind those top athletes but who are nonetheless making a significant contribution to our community,' said Margaret Siu, head of sports development at the Hong Kong Sports Institute. Well-known sailing enthusiast Karl Kwok, chairman of the HKCC, was delighted with the response from the sports community. 'The number of entries proves that Hong Kong sport has had a good year and indicates the tremendous hard work done by coaches behind the scenes,' said Kwok. 'We are glad to see the awards scheme has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 1993 and is now established as one of the major events in the local sporting calendar.' This year's coaching awards comprise five categories - Coach of the Year Awards, Community Coach Recognition Awards, Distinguished Services Award for Coaching, Coach Education Award and Coaching Excellence Awards. There are 20 top coaches from 15 National Sports Associations (NSAs) vying for the most coveted of them all - the Coach of the Year Awards, which in itself is divided into six categories - individual sport, team sport and team event (all in senior and junior athletes' divisions). Among those vying for top honours are past recipients Appel (windsurfing), Tony Choi (squash) and Wang (disabled sports), while other leading coaches like Happy Valley soccer coach Chan Hung-ping, swimming coach Chan Yiu-hoi, tenpin bowling coach Purvis Granger and athletics coach Yap Kai-tak will be chasing their first awards. Apart from the main awards, 27 nominations have been received for the Community Coach Recognition Awards, which are awarded to coaches who are adjudged to have made a special contribution to the development of athletes and sport for at least three years. Five coaches have been nominated for the Distinguished Services Award for Coaching, which will be presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to coaching at national and international level for at least 10 years. The Coaching Education Award will be given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to coach education for a minimum period of five years. Four candidates will be competing for the award. Coaching Excellence Awards will be granted to coaches who coach an individual to third place or better at the Asian Championships - or equivalent - or to sixth place or better at the World Championships. For team sports, the awards will be presented to coaches who help a team achieve an outstanding performance in major international events. A total of 37 coaches have been nominated for this category. The HKCC was set up in 1991 with the aim of building an infrastructure to shape the development of coaching education in Hong Kong.