Local sports clubs have just one week left to nominate their teams, individuals and coaches for the 2017 Derry and Strabane Sports Awards ahead of the closing date of Wednesday May 31.
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 the 15 categories will be announced at a gala presentation night at the Fir Tress Hotel in Strabane on Wednesday June 21 and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, 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 local people put into sport at all levels across the City and District,” she 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 be significant interest in the Hall of Fame award which was introduced last year and awarded posthumously to Derry City FC’s record goal scorer, the late Mark Farren.
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 noted.
“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.”
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, Special Award, Hall of Fame, Club of the Year.
The closing date for nominations is 4pm on Wednesday May 31, forms are available from Derry City and Strabane District Council leisure centres and offices or you can download the nomination form at www.derrystrabane.com/sportsawards.