From unsung heroes to global sporting idols, we want your nominations
Sports fans, clubs, schools, governing and sports bodies are being urged to nominate their top sporting stars for 2015 with the launch of the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.
The awards programme is sponsored by Linwoods and honours Northern Ireland's top sporting achievers in both the amateur and professional arenas. The gala ceremony, which attracts some of our most famous and successful sporting heroes, will take place on Monday January 25, 2016 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Belfast.
Last year's Hall of Fame inductee and Northern Ireland legend David Healy helped launch this year's awards programme and was joined by Grace Campbell, Marketing Executive from Linwoods, our title sponsors, and Steven Beacom, Sports Editor at the Belfast Telegraph.
The Sports Awards celebrate the excellent achievements of local sports people from grass roots to elite sport and the public can nominate in each of the 12 categories by visiting www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sportsawards2015 and completing a nomination form by November 30. Nominations will be judged and shortlisted in December and finalists will be invited to come along to the January 25 awards evening.
As well as the coveted Sports Star of the Year title, category awards include Manager/Coach of the Year, Young Team and Young Player of the Year as well as the Hall of Fame trophy, the Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year, Local Heroes and Sportsperson with a Disability. Other categories are Special Recognition Award, George Best Breakthrough, Team of the Year and the WJ 'Paddy' Patterson Award for services to sport presented by the NI Sports Forum.
Armagh-based Health foods company Linwoods is once again backing the Sports Awards and Linwoods marketing executive Campbell says the company is delighted once again to give its support to the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, championing healthy living through this high-profile partnership.
"Linwoods is a multi-million pound manufacturing and distribution business based in Armagh producing a range of healthfoods. As a local company which has built its success, growth and international reputation on healthy foods and lifestyles, it is entirely natural that we should celebrate the achievements of Northern Ireland's outstanding sportsmen and women," said Ms Campbell.
"This last year has been a wonderful, action-packed testimony to our region's sporting talents, from grass roots commitment to the dizzying heights of international acclaim. In the last 12 months we have been excited, entertained and inspired by our sporting heroes and we now look forward to honouring their achievements with these coveted awards.
"Sport - in all its guises - makes a wonderful contribution to the vibrancy and health of our community, an ethos which has strong resonance for all of us at Linwoods."
Belfast Telegraph Sports Editor Beacom added: "I would really encourage everyone to put forward nominees for consideration from both the grass roots and elite sports sectors.
"Northern Ireland continues to punch above its weight and year on year the judges face a huge challenge deciding on the top winners. I'm looking forward to a great line-up of nominations over the next two months."
• To purchase tickets for the Gala Awards evening on January 25, 2016, contact Sarah Weir at JPR Tel 028 9076 0066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org