VIDEO: Mayor launches new Council Sports Awards

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe today launched the Borough’s first Sports Awards.

Cllr Ashe said: “I am delighted to officially launch the 2015 Sports Awards for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Guests and sponsors who attended the launch of the Mid and East Antrim Council Sports Awards at the Braid complex. INBT 02-182CS

Guests and sponsors who attended the launch of the Mid and East Antrim Council Sports Awards at the Braid complex. INBT 02-182CS

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us as a Borough Council to acknowledge and congratulate the past success of our talented athletes, coaches and volunteers. They all deserve recognition for all their hard work and ongoing dedication,” Cllr Ashe added.

“Nominations have now opened in advance of judging and the celebratory events that will take place across the three legacy council areas Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne,” he said.

The Ballymena awards will take place at the Des Allen Suite at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, March 4.

Boxing legend, Dave McAuley is backing the Awards. Speaking in person at the launch he said: “There is a broad range of categories on offer and I would urge the nomination of outstanding people, be they juniors, veterans, managers or coaches as everyone has a vital role to play in promoting sporting excellence.”

Veteran sports presenter, Jackie Fullerton, who also attended, said that he is a great advocate of the Sports Awards concept and commented: “I am delighted they are continuing in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.”

Although unable to attend the launch in person, rugby star, Trevor Ringland has already added his support: “These Awards will provide the opportunity to celebrate not only the success of the sportspeople themselves, but also to recognise the commitment of so many involved in sport.

“This may be through volunteering, coaching, helping with the benefits of teamwork, sheer hard work, overcoming adversity, building a sense of community and so many other qualities in the people of the Mid and East Antrim Borough that we should all take great pride in.”

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is now actively encouraging all those involved in sports to get behind their players and athletes, coaches and volunteers by nominating them for one of the nine awards to be decided upon at the ceremony.

Athletes are also being urged to take this opportunity to recognise and show their appreciation for the support they have received over the years from their coaches, managers, and administrators and to take the time to nominate an individual for a Manager/Coach of the Year award or Services to Sport Award.

Nominations are being sought in nine categories overall:

* Junior Sportsperson of the Year;

* School Sporting Performance of the Year;

* Manager/Coach of the Year;

* Sportsperson/Team with a Disability;

* Veterans’ Award;

* Team of the Year;

* Services to Sport;

* Sportsperson of the Year;

* Sporting Hall of Fame.

Nominations close on Friday 22nd January 2016 at 4pm.

They can be submitted online at www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/sportsawards

Hard copies of forms can be obtained on request.