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Sports Awards nominations sought after Brandywell launch

21 March 2018

Nominations are being sought to recognise all those who contributed to another memorable year of local sport after the launch of the Derry and Strabane 2017/18 Sports Awards at the newly redeveloped Brandywell Stadium.

The awards are being jointly organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council in conjunction with the District Sports Forum and aim to publicly recognise the individuals, teams and clubs that contributed to sport in the Council area over the last year.

The winners of this year’s 17 categories will be announced at a gala presentation night at the City Hotel on 16th May – with guest speakers Paralympian Michael McKillop and UK Athletics Coach Stephen Maguire.

Speaking at the official launch of the Sports Awards at the Brandywell, Deputy Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle encouraged the public to nominate now to see their local heroes recognised.

“The Sports Awards are always a big date on the Council calendar and represent an ideal way to acknowledge and reward the hard work and dedication that people put into sport at all levels across the City and District,” he said.

“For a small area we have remarkably high participation numbers in sport and our sports people have achieved notable success at local, national and international level.

“As well as justifiably highlighting the outstanding sporting achievements of the last 12 months, the awards aim to recognise the many unsung grassroots heroes in our Council area who give up so much of their time and energy to help others.”

Categories in this year’s awards include Sports Star of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, and Club of the Year – while there will also be significant interest in this year’s Sports Awards ‘Hall of Fame’.  Indeed, last year the sports fraternity remembered two local soccer legends as Derry City captain Ryan McBride and Strabane soccer stalwart Felix McCrossan were posthumously entered into the Hall of Fame.

Chairman of Derry City and Strabane Sports Forum, Seamus McGilloway noted there is a significant disabled and underage element to the awards.

“If you are aware of anyone who deserves recognition for their efforts in sport over the last year this is an ideal opportunity to give them something back,” he said.

“We are keen to recognise success and dedication in sport at all levels in the Council area and the awards for Disability Coach of Year and Sports Star of the Year with a Disability are particularly important to us in promoting inclusivity and encouraging sport for all.

“The Forum are also acutely aware of the importance of underage sport, not only in promoting heathier choices among our young people, but also in nurturing the senior sports stars of tomorrow which is why we have separate awards for Young Male and Female Sports Stars of the Year, as well as Children’s Coach of the Year and School Team of the Year.

“This year we will also see the introduction of two new categories to better reflect the growing importance of active travel throughout the City and District – Best Individual effort in promoting active travel and Best Group / Organisation effort in promoting active travel.”

To be eligible for the awards, sports persons must reside in the Council area and all nominees must be involved in an amateur status sport that is recognised by Sport Northern Ireland and the Irish Sports Council.

Organisations, local sports clubs, schools, youth clubs and individuals can make nominations. The nominator, nominee, a team representative and a guest will be invited to the awards ceremony and all nominees will receive a certificate.

The full list of categories is: Coach of the Year, Community Coach of the Year, Children’s Coach of the Year, Young Coach of the Year, Female Coach of the Year, Disability Coach of the Year, Sports Star of the Year, Young Male Sports Star of the Year, Young Female Sports Star of the Year, School Team of the Year, Team of the Year, Sports Star of the Year with a disability, Best Individual effort in promoting active travel, Best Group / Organisation effort in promoting active travel, Special Award, Hall of Fame, Club of the Year.

The closing date for nominations is 4pm on Friday 27th April 2018 and forms are available from the Health and Community Directorate, Derry City and Strabane District Council or you can download the nomination form at www.derrystrabane.com/sportsawards.