Belfast Telegraph

Race is on for our top awards after a glorious year of NI sport


Top award: Jonathan Rea was the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year 2017
Top award: Jonathan Rea was the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year 2017
World title contender Carl Frampton
Green Army: NI manager Michael O’Neill receives the Team of the Year Platinum award from Norman Whiteside and sponsor Gary Sinnerton, MD The Home Design Group
Ireland hockey captain Katie Mullen
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

The Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards are back, with of our biggest names vying alongside the best of grassroots sport for our top awards after another stellar year for Northern Ireland sport.

Last year, motorcycling superstar Jonathan Rea rode away with top honours by winning Sports Star of the Year and he’ll have his eyes on repeating the feat after winning a fourth consecutive World Superbike title.

As always, we need your help and nominations to decide who is the most deserving of our awards. And this year it couldn’t be easier, with the option of nominating someone online by logging on to the Belfast Telegraph website.

Each category will be decided by our expert panel of judges, whose final list of winners will be announced at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards ceremony, which will once again be held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Monday, January 14.

The night will be a celebration of Northern Ireland’s phenomenal sporting achievements at home and abroad and at all levels.

As well as Jonathan Rea who walked away with the big one at the start of this year, Ulster and Ireland rugby star Jacob Stockdale (right) took home two awards and the record-breaking Northern Irish Commonwealth Youth Games team were rewarded for their fine year as well.

But who will be walking away with silverware this time around?

Continuing on from the innovation introduced last year, categories such as Team and Player of the Year will be split into platinum and gold sections — platinum for a professional winner and gold for an amateur winner in order to recognise the achievements of teams at all levels.

Undoubtedly the one that everyone wants to win is the Sports Star of the Year award, which is given to the outstanding sportsperson from Northern Ireland over the last 12 months.

Its prestige is reflected in the names that were up for consideration last year, with Rea holding off the challenges of Ryan Burnett, Rory Best, Steven Davis, Michael McKillop and Jason Smyth to go home with the award.

Outstanding individuals and teams will be appreciated across the night.

Individual successes will be reflected in awards such as the Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year, Sports Person with a Disability and Coach of the Year, while the future of sport in Northern Ireland will be heralded through the Young Player of the Year and George Best Breakthrough awards.

Our newest Bridgestone Rising Star Award, which is being introduced this year, will also shine some light on a sportsperson who is set to play an important role in the future.

Professional and an amateur teams will be given credit for their successes in the Team of the Year award, backed by Decathlon.

Less heralded individuals will also be recognised for the work they do at grassroots and club level in awards such as the Special Recognition Award, the Game Changer Award for women in sport and the Local Heroes Award, proving how important work is at all levels of sport.

This year, we are proud to welcome a new title sponsor with Banbridge shopping outlet The Boulevard coming on board.

Located just outside Banbridge, The Boulevard is one of Northern Ireland’s leading shopping destinations and is currently undergoing a £7 million rebrand, with a number of key brands opening over the past year including Jack Wills, Kurt Geiger and The Beauty Outlet, with American fashion brand Guess also set to open.

The new stores have joined a significant selection of other well-loved brands situated within the centre, including Gap, Calvin Klein, Holland and Barrett, Next Outlet and L.K. Bennett.

“The Boulevard is delighted to be in partnership with the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2019,” said The Boulevard’s centre manager Chris Nelmes.

“With the introduction of global sports brands to the centre this year including Adidas, ASICS and Skechers, along with existing stores such as Nike, The Boulevard has become the ultimate sportswear destination in Northern Ireland.

“We feel that our partnership reinforces our commitment to health and fitness and we look forward to celebrating Northern Ireland’s many sporting achievements on the night.”

The Belfast Telegraph is also delighted to welcome new award backers Bridgestone Tyres, the Mary Peters Trust and Revive Active, and we are equally excited to welcome back Sport NI, Linwoods, Decathlon, Electric Ireland and GLL the charitable social enterprise, operating under the Better brand.

This year we are also delighted to have drinks company Boost as our official drinks partner of the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards and they will help with the catering of the ceremony in January.

How to nominate

Nominating someone you feel deserves an Award this year is easier than ever as  you can do it online! For the first time, we have set up a form on our website that will allow you to submit your nomination with ease, with the process so simple as everything is already set up for you — all you need to do is determine which award best suits the nominee!

To nominate please visit:

Entries will close on Thursday, December 6.