Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

A call for heroes

The sensational summer of sport just keeps getting better and better and ahead of the Olympics in London, the organisers of the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards are urging fans, clubs, schools and sporting organisations to consider what teams and individuals they would like to put forward for the 2012 Linwoods and Sport Northern Ireland supported event.

The gala dinner is regarded as the premier sports awards in the country and takes place in January next year with new sporting heroes hoping to follow in the footsteps of our 2011 winners.

Nominations for the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards are sought for 12 different categories which span both amateur and professional fields. Last year’s winners included current Olympic hopefuls swimmer Sycerika McMahon and rower Peter Chambers, Open golf champion Darren Clarke who took home the Sports Star of the Year prize, young athlete Sally Brown, recently appointed Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and rugby great Mike Gibson, who entered our Hall of Fame.

“We have so many top achievers representing our grass roots sports as well as our high profile sporting heroes and these awards aim to honour all these players, teams and managers as well as those who work behind the scenes.” explained Steven Beacom, Chairman of the judging panel and sports editor of the Belfast Telegraph.

Category awards include Team and Player of the Year, Manager/Coach of the Year, Young Team and Young Player of the Year as well as the Hall of Fame trophy and the Local Heroes Award. Other categories are Sports Person with a Disability, Special Recognition Award, George Best Breakthrough Award, the WJ ‘Paddy’ Patterson Award for services to sport and the overall Sports Star of the Year Award.

The Olympics are sure to throw up potential winners though already the list of contenders for several categories is long.

For instance consider the Team of the Year prize won last year by Linfield. The Blues will again be in the running this time along with Setanta Cup winners Crusaders, the Ulster Rugby Team, the title-winning Belfast Giants and All-Ireland winners Crossmaglen Rangers and the Loughgiel Shamrocks hurling team.

At the recent Athletics NI and Lagan Valley AC organised Brian Downing Memorial International held at Antrim Stadium top local athletes Katie Kirk from Lagan Valley AC and Joanna Mills from Ballymena & Antrim AC joined with Sport NI's Alan Moneypenny and Maeve McKeefry from Linwoods to encourage club officials, athletes, families and supporters to put forward nominations when the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards are officially launched post Olympics.

The meet, which was held in conjunction with DCAL and Sport NI, featured representatives from clubs throughout Northern Ireland as well as London bound athletes from Qatar, Egypt, Oman and Djbouti giving local sports people an opportunity to compete with some of the world’s best and most experienced athletes.

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For more details on the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards contact Rosemary Allister, JPR Tel 028 9076 0066 or mobile 07880 504928.

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