Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Difficult calls for Tele judges at Sports Awards

Looking ahead to judging the Linwoods backed 2013 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards are judges (from left) Rosemary McWhinney (NI Sports Forum), former NI footballer Billy Hamilton, Steven Beacom (Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor and Chairman of the Judges) and Dr Shaun Ogle (Director of Performance, Sport Northern Ireland) Also pictured is Linwoods Brand Manager Karla McAviney (right)

Northern Ireland footballing great Billy Hamilton is convinced the sporting talent in the country has never been better.

Billy was talking after his stint on the judging panel for the 2013 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.

Hamilton was one of four judges who poured over hundreds of nominations for the various categories.

The Sports Star of the Year is the big prize of the night and a sporting legend is inducted into the Belfast Telegraph Hall of Fame, but the Linwoods backed awards also celebrate our youngsters producing the goods around the globe and what is happening at grassroots level.

Hamilton, a Northern Ireland World Cup hero, could not believe the number of outstanding candidates nominated.

"It is great to see how well Northern Ireland is doing in a sporting context," he said.

"What is amazing is the talent coming through.

"There were so many fantastic youngsters nominated for their incredible achievements. When you look at it you have to think we've never known it so good.

"The only problem with all this success is that it makes it very difficult to judge who should come out on top."

Billy was helped with that task by Steven Beacom, Sports Editor of the Belfast Telegraph and chairman of the panel, Rosemary McWhinney from the Northern Ireland Sports Forum and Dr Shaun Ogle, Director of Performance, Sport Northern Ireland.

The eagerly awaited results will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Monday, January 20, 2014 in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw's Bridge, Belfast.

Tickets for the event, which attracts the great and good of Northern Ireland sport and is compered by Jackie Fullerton and Claire McCollum, can be obtained by contacting JPR on 028 9076 0066 or emailing rosemary.allister@jprni.com