THE waiting is almost over to see who will be named as Ballymena’s sporting kings and queens of 2012!
The 15th annual Ballymena Sports Awards ceremony will be held this Thursday night, January 24.
The glittering event - held in the impressive surroundings of the Braid Town Hall complex - will once again be compered by Ballymena-born BBC sports presenter Jackie Fullerton, in what the broadcaster describes as one of his favourite functions in the year.
A selection panel met before Christmas to choose the winners in the various categories, delving through a bumper entry of nominations, from a vast array of codes and disciplines, all of whom excelled over the past year.
Mayor of Ballymena, Alderman PJ McAvoy will outline the important part played by sport in the wellbeing of the borough and will also thank the generous sponsors involved in making the event possible.
“I think the Sports Awards are very important in recognising the time and effort our sportspeople put in to training and competing,” said the Mayor.
“I think it’s very important that we publicly recognise our sportspeople and the role they perform in putting Ballymena on the map - they are great ambassadors for our town and borough.
“It’s not always about winning, however, and we should never forget the role that sport can play in bringing people together - it crosses all boundaries,” added the Mayor.
“Both the number of entries and the number of different sports nominated illustrate how highly the awards are thought of and the credibility which they enjoy among the local sporting community,” said Council Sports Development Officer Katrina McCaughan.
“From speaking to winners in previous years, it’s clear how much it means to them to be recognised in their own hometown,” added Katrina.
Prizes will be distributed in the following categories:
* Junior Sportsperson
* Adult Sportsperson
* Coach of the Year
* Team of the Year
* Community Sport Award
* Services to Sport
* Sporting Performance of the Year
* Sportsperson/team with a Disability
* School Performance of the Year
* Sporting Hall of Fame
* Des Allen Athletics Bursary - £500 bursary for talented junior athletes (track and field).
Full coverage of the event will appear in next week’s Ballymena Times.