The purpose of the awards which are backed by main sponsor Linwoods is to identify sporting achievement and recognise those individuals, teams and organisations whose contribution to Ulster Sport is outstanding. Sport Northern Ireland also provides support for the awards programme and nominations can be made by organisations, governing bodies of sport, regional councils, local sports councils and individuals.
1. Sports Star of the Year (sponsored by Linwoods)
This is awarded to a person identified with the province whose sporting performances or achievements are seen as outstanding. Recent winners have included AP McCoy, Rory McIlroy, David Healy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Wendy Houvenaghel.
2. Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year
The award will be made to an Ulster player who competes mainly in the province and whose performance and overall contribution are seen as outstanding. Former trophy holders are Michael Dunlop, Rory Best, Ryan Farquhar, Glenn Ferguson, Sean Cavanagh and Stephen Ferris.
3. Team of the Year
A team based in Ulster, whether club or composite, which has achieved remarkable success in the current year. Ulster Rugby, Linfield FC, Tyrone GAA, Cliftonville FC, Ballynahinch Rugby Team and the Northern Ireland Football Team are past winners.
4. Young Player of the Year (19 or under on 31/12/14)
An individual aged 19 or under on 31st December 2014 and identified with the province whose sporting performances or achievements are seen as outstanding. Winners of this award have included Paralympian Bethany Firth, archery champion Patrick Huston,racing driver Wayne Boyd, athlete Ciara Mageean, swimmers Sycerika McMahon and Conor Leaney.
5. Young Team of the Year (19 or under on 31/12/14)
A team aged 19 or under on 31st December 2014 and identified with the province, whose performances or achievements are seen as outstanding. Previous winners include St Oliver Plunkett U16 football team, Lurgan College 1st XI Girls’ Hockey, Royal School Armagh 1st XI Hockey Team. NI Commonwealth Games Youth Team and Armagh Minors GAA.
6. Manager / Coach of the Year (sponsored by Volvo)
An individual identified with the province whose managing/coaching achievements are seen as outstanding. Former trophy holders have included Brendan Rodgers, PJ O’Mullan, Donal Murtagh, David Jeffrey, Tommy Breslin and Liam Bradley.
7. Sports Person of the Year with a Disability
This award is open to people identified with the Province and involved in a recognised category of sport for people with a disability whether as performers, organisers or supporters. Past winners are Kelly Gallagher, Janet Gray, Michael McKillop, Sally Brown, Jason Smyth and Niall McVeigh.
8. WJ 'Paddy' Patterson Services to Sport Award (sponsored by NI Forum)
This award recognises individuals who have brought honour to the province and served Ulster sport with great distinction over a period of years. The service may be as an administrator, manager, coach or referee etc. NB This award is made by the NI Sports Forum. Past winners have included Jack Monaghan, Danny Murphy, Roy Torrens, Dame Mary Peters, Ken Nixon and Bob Colhoun.
9. George Best Breakthrough Award
This award recognises a sporting individual who has made a spectacular rise from obscurity during the past 12 months. This award is made by the sports writers of the Belfast Telegraph. Former winners have included Martyn Irvine, Michael Conlan, Peter Chambers, Martin Rogan, Rory Mcllroy and Niall McGinn.
10. Local Heroes (supported by Sport Northern Ireland)
This award recognises special achievement at grass roots level. Nominations may be for both Clubs and/or individuals. Past winners include hockey aces Ian Sloan and David Ames, fencer Fiona Haldane, boxing coach Billy McKee, Natalie Kane from Motocross, Banbridge Academy Boys Hockey teams and wrestler Mohammed Ali.
11. Hall of Fame (sponsored by Belleek)
This award recognises an Ulster sports person whose contribution to sport through the years has been outstanding. This award is made by the sports writers of the Belfast Telegraph. Previous stars installed in the Hall of Fame include George Best, Jack Kyle, Dame Mary Peters, Mickey Harte, Gerry Armstrong, Mike Gibson, Barry McGuigan, Harry Gregg and Maeve Kyle.
12. Special Recognition Award
This is awarded to a person identified with the province whose sporting performances or achievements are seen as outstanding. Recent winners have included Olympians Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Peter and Richard Chambers and Alan Campbell, road racer Michael Dunlop, cricket legend Kyle McCallen and boxing star Carl Frampton.
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