Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Ulster's Local Heroes deserve their night in sporting spotlight

By Graham Luney

Not all Northern Ireland's sporting stars get the recognition and praise they deserve.

The household names on the big stage deserve the extensive coverage they get but there are many other gifted sportsmen and women who are impressing in their own competitive environments.

The Local Heroes prize at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards shines a light on individuals and teams that do just that.

On Monday we will discover who will pick up the 2016 award which is proudly sponsored by Crown Plaza, run by Belfast's largest hotel group Andras Hotels.

The prestigious ceremony, which will be presented by Claire McCollum and Craig Doyle in front of a star-studded line-up at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, gives us an opportunity to reflect on our most popular performers but the Local Heroes award recognises special achievement at grass roots level.

Clubs or individuals can land this prize so the competition is always fierce.

Those in the running are unsung heroes, often going beyond the norm in increasing participation at grassroots level within their sport.

Past winners include hockey aces Ian Sloan and David Ames, GAA hero Anto Finnegan, fencer Fiona Haldane, Natalie Kane from motocross, Banbridge Academy Boys Hockey teams and talented wrestler Mohammed Ali.

The 2015 winner was handballer Aisling Reilly who enjoyed a glittering year, during which she won US Open and All-Ireland titles, as well as defending her World Championship title.

Rajesh Rana, Director of Andras Hotels, said: "Crowne Plaza Belfast is proud to support the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2016 and wish everyone involved a hugely successful event."

The new Crowne Plaza Belfast, located at Shaw's Bridge, is a refined, modern hotel within the beautiful Lagan Valley Regional Park.

The hotel is the perfect place to relax or attend a business function.

For more information, visit or call 028 90923500.