Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland heroes of sport honoured at Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards

 

Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year Jonathan Rea Photo by Darren Kidd / Press Eye
Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year Jonathan Rea Photo by Darren Kidd / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year Winner is Jonathan Rea. Johnny is away testing in Spain and the award is collected by his mum Claire Rea. Presented by Phillip McCallan and sponsor rep Bert Jukes, CEO of Enliten owners of Lyprinol and Richard McClean, CEO Belfast Telegraph to present. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall Hall of Fame Winner is Peter Canavan. Presented by Mickey Harte and Breeda Toner Bre-Ton Financial Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall Manager / Coach of the Year Gold and Platinum Michael O'Neill (NI Football) Platinum. Presented by Pat Jennings and from sponsors Invest n Share Robert Young. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall Manager / Coach of the Year Gold and Platinum Winner Michael O'Neill (NI Football) Platinum. Presented by Pat Jennings and from sponsors Invest n Share Robert Young. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Team of the Year Gold and Platinum Winner is NI Netball Team (Gold) and NI Football Team (Platinum). Presented by Norman Whiteside and sponsor presenter Gary Sinnerton, MD The Home Design Group (Claire) Michael O'Neill on stage Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall Game Changer Award Winner is Joanne Rock (Lagan Dragons). Presenter is Hannah Shields mountain climber, game changer) and from sponsors Electric Ireland, Clare McAllister, Sales and Marketing Manager Electric Ireland NI Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. George Best Breakthrough Award Winner is Jacob Stockdale (rugby). Presenter is Mike Gibson And from sponsor GLL Gareth Kirk, Regional Director of GLL. Tommy Bowe -Ulster and Ireland Star collects the award on Jacob's behalf. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 3. Local Heroes Award Winner is Philip Duke (a posthumous award) -Ulster Hockey and Harlequins. To be collected by Philips brother Peter Duke and Iain Kelly Harlequins Club President (has over 1000 appearances for the club) Presented by Jim Kirkwood hockey Olympic gold medallist Also pictured is sponsor Julie Hastings Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall WJ Paddy Patterson Services to Sport Award Winner is George Stevenson MBE (from tennis). Presented by Richard Johnston (Chair of NI Sports Forum) and Sarah Shimmons, Head of Marketing from sponsor Linwoods Health Foods. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Team of the Year Gold and Platinum Winner is NI Netball Team (Gold) and NI Football Team (Platinum). Presented by Norman Whiteside and sponsor presenter Gary Sinnerton, MD The Home Design Group. NI Netball players, coach and support staff on stage. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Young Player of the Year Xeno Young (cycling) on stage with Craig Doyle and Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs rugby). Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year Gold and Platinum Winners are Lisa Bowman (NI Netball) Gold and Jacob Stockdale (rugby) Platinum. Presented by WJ McBride and sponsor presenter Paula Quinn Recruitment Manager at Celerion. Parents Graeme and Janine Stockdale on stage to collect on behalf of Jacob who is at Carton House Kildare at Ireland Camp ahead of the Nat West 6 Nations and the team's first match in Paris. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Special Recognition Award 1 Winner is Sara Booth (Director U19 Women's football Euros) Presented by Dame Mary Peters and Mark Regan, CEO of the National Sports Injury Clinic at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year Gold and Platinum Winners are Lisa Bowman (NI Netball) Gold and Jacob Stockdale (rugby) Platinum. Presented by WJ McBride and sponsor presenter Paula Quinn Recruitment Manager at Celerion. Lisa Bowman collects her award Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year Gold and Platinum Winners are Lisa Bowman (NI Netball) Gold and Jacob Stockdale (rugby) Platinum. Presented by WJ McBride and sponsor presenter Paula Quinn Recruitment Manager at Celerion. Lisa Bowman collects her award with Claire McCollum Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Sports Person with a Disability Winner is Jack Agnew (wheelchair racing) but as Jack is away in Australia training it is being collected by Jacks mum Sandra Agnew. Presented by Paul Stirling Ireland cricketer and sponsor presenter Tony McKeown representing JMK Solicitors. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Young Player of the Year Winner Xeno Young (cycling), centre, presented by Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs rugby), right, and sponsor presenter Richard Larmour, Marketing and Events Manager from Decathlon. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Young Team of the Year Winner is NI Commonwealth Games Youth Team. On stage is Aron Sexton (gold for athletics), Kirstie Strouts McCallion (silver for judo), Kane Tucker (silver for boxing), Mandy McMaster (coach) and Alison Moffatt-Robinson (coach). Presented by Tommy Bowe - Ireland and Ulster rugby player and sponsor presenter Frances Adgey Marketing Manager of Subway Ireland. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Young Team of the Year Winner is NI Commonwealth Games Youth Team. On stage is Aron Sexton (gold for athletics), Kirstie Strouts McCallion (silver for judo), Kane Tucker (silver for boxing), Mandy McMaster (coach) and Alison Moffatt-Robinson (coach). Presented by Tommy Bowe - Ireland and Ulster rugby player and sponsor presenter Frances Adgey Marketing Manager of Subway Ireland. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Young Player of the Year Winner Xeno Young (cycling), centre, presented by Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs rugby), right, and sponsor presenter Richard Larmour, Marketing and Events Manager from Decathlon. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 29th January 2018 - 2017 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards at the Belfast Waterfront Hall 1. Young Player of the Year Xeno Young (cycling) on stage with Craig Doyle and Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs rugby). Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The cream of Northern Ireland's sporting world attended the Waterfront Hall last night for the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.

There was no shortage of sporting glory to toast last night - from Jonathan Rea's third World Superbike title win, as well as an inspiring World Cup qualifying campaign from the Northern Ireland football team.

And indeed, it was Rea's motorcycling heroics on the racetrack that earned him our top award at last night's glitzy ceremony - Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said: "Tonight brings home how much of a role sport plays in Northern Ireland and what we've achieved, so I always enjoy it."

Asked how he was handling his status as a sporting icon following two thrilling international campaigns, O'Neill - who is expected to pledge his long-term future to Northern Ireland - said: "To have such a good national team is a big thing for everyone in Northern Ireland.

"We've had a great four years and we want to continue.

"We've a big challenge ahead of us for Euro 2020, and we're trying to keep the team together and grow the team.

"But I see the response of the Northern Ireland public and it was a big factor in me staying on in the job."

Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary Peters, who served on the awards committee, said she was thrilled by the wealth of sporting talent on show last night.

"A few years ago people never thought we'd have the quality. But I tell you what - every category this year was really worthwhile. Great stars of the present and the future," she said.

"We had a really difficult job co-ordinating our views on the panel.

"It's wonderful and I just think it's a shame we don't have a museum to applaud all these young people.

"When you look at our success in things like golf and motorcycle racing, sport does such a great job in Northern Ireland - we really punch above our weight."

Tyrone senior Gaelic football team manager Mickey Harte said: "There's not many events like this that have such a broad appeal to all of the sports people in this part of the world that we live in.

"It's great for people to come together and have a bit of fun." He added that winning back-to-back Ulster titles was a joy after a six-year break.

"We had a bad end to the season when we met Dublin in Croke Park but we can reflect on progress made," he said.

Outside of GAA, he praised Michael O'Neill's footballers as his standout performers.

"To see Northern Ireland do so well in the World Cup qualifiers, even thought they were so unlucky, a lot of people were so happy at how they played," he said.

A total of 14 awards were up for grabs at last night's star-studded ceremony.

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