Sports fans, clubs, schools and governing bodies throughout Northern Ireland are being urged to nominate their top sporting stars for this year with the launch of the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2010, sponsored by Linwoods and supported by Sport Northern Ireland.
The gala awards evening, which attracts some of Northern Ireland’s most famous sporting faces, is set to take place on Monday, January 10 at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.
The 2007 Hall of Fame inductee Barry McGuigan and top middle distance runner Ciara Mageean, who clinched last year’s Young Sports Person of the Year title, helped launch the awards alongside Joanne Hayden from new sponsor, food company Linwoods and Vice-Chairman of Sport NI, Alan Moneypenny.
Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor Steven Beacom, Barry and Ciara are calling on the public as well as sporting bodies and organisations to put forward entries for each of the 11 categories.
Joanne Hayden, Sales and Marketing manager of Linwoods, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor the Sports Awards and believe it will be a healthy and dynamic new partnership.
“These awards are the perfect platform for Linwoods to celebrate the province’s crème de la crème in the field of sport and underline our company’s association with healthy lifestyles and fitness.
“Linwoods is passionately proud to support top class sporting achievement through these illustrious awards and the sponsorship has created a tangible buzz of excitement at Linwoods from the factory floor to the boardroom and beyond.
“Linwoods is also pleased to embark on this initiative alongside Sport NI with whom we recently partnered on a series of healthy eating projects.”
Also jointly supporting this year’s awards programme is Sport Northern Ireland, who will enhance the awards by providing a range of services including advice on categories and judging as well as helping to raise the profile of the awards.
A series of regional events will also help target and encourage more sporting clubs and groups as well as sports governing bodies from throughout Northern Ireland to put forward nominees in the various categories.
Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland Eamonn McCartan said: “Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to once again be involved in the Sports Awards, reflecting our support for this celebrated event and the great sporting achievements they recognise.
“We are committed to developing a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport, and delivering a lasting and sustainable legacy of sport for future generations in Northern Ireland.
“The Sports Awards celebrate the sterling work of clubs and individuals and their contribution to this vision.
“I would encourage all those with an interest in sport to submit nominations to ensure we see a range of home-grown talent acknowledged across a wide spectrum of sporting disciplines.”
Individual 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 and the Local Heroes Award.
Other categories are Sports Person of the Year with a Disability, the George Best Breakthrough Award, the WJ ‘Paddy’ Patterson Award for services to sport and the overall Sports Star of the Year Award.
In addition to co-sponsors Linwoods and Sport Northern Ireland, other companies and organisations backing the award this year include Disability Needs and Northern Ireland Sports Forum.
Nominations close on Tuesday, November 23 at 5pm.