Previous winners spurred by award
Published 12/01/2013 | 06:59
Darren Clarke, Brendan Rodgers, Rory Best, Peter Chambers, Linfield and Sycerika McMahon were among the winners at the 2011 Belfast Telegraph Sports awards.
They didn't do too badly in 2012 either.
Clarke, who was our Sports Star of the Year 12 months ago, was an inspirational vice captain in Europe's superb Ryder Cup victory last year and, more than anyone, savoured the Irish Open being played in front of record crowds at his club, Royal Portrush.
Our Manager of the Year for 2011 Rodgers guided Swansea to a highly respectable mid-table position in the Premier League and then, in the summer, he was chosen as the man to replace the legendary Kenny Dalglish as boss at Liverpool, where the Carnlough native is making solid progress.
Best, the Player of the Year, went on to play in a Heineken Cup final and has been a major figure in Ulster's remarkable start to this season while rowing star Chambers, who took home the George Best Breakthrough Prize, won silver at the Olympics.
After being named Team of the Year, Linfield went on to record another league and cup double success, while gifted teenage swimmer Sycerika won silver at the European Championships and competed at London 2012.
It's clear then when you win a prize at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, sponsored by Linwoods and supported by Sport Northern Ireland, it can spur you on to achieving even more.
Recently, a previous recipient of a Special Award at the glittering black tie event, former Ulster hero Bryn Cunningham, joined me and the sponsors in the Belfast Telegraph boardroom, to discuss potential winners for the various categories.
The ceremony for the 2012 awards is at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast, on Monday night when everyone will find out the winners at the biggest and best sports awards show in Northern Ireland.