Hunt begins for unsung heroes as nominations open for Believe Sports Awards

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photo of group advertising event

Nominations are now officially open for this year’s Believe Sports Awards.

The annual celebration of Wigan Borough’s grassroots sports scene will return to The Edge Conference Centre on Saturday 5 October.

Hosted by Be Well Wigan and sponsored by JJH Building Contractors Ltd, the ceremony will once again shine a spotlight on top up-and-coming talents, unsung heroes and local community champions.

Residents can now nominate the individuals, clubs and groups they’d like to see recognised on the night at Wigan.gov.uk/BelieveSportsAwards.

Councillor Chris Ready, cabinet portfolio holder for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “The Believe Sports Awards is always one of the feel-good nights of the year when we celebrate all the wonderful people who make our local sports community so special.

“There is so much young sporting talent in our borough, all dreaming of following in the footsteps of home-grown heroes like Keely Hodgkinson, Ella Toone and countless legends of rugby league.

“We’re also incredibly lucky to have an amazing community of passionate, dedicated and selfless volunteers who give up so much of their time and their energy to support others to fulfil their potential.

“That incredible commitment should not go unnoticed, so please submit your nominations now and ensure the unsung heroes from your local community get the recognition they deserve!”

Among last year’s winners were Ince Rose Bridge Sports and Community Club stalwart Kevin Young, tireless Golborne Parkside volunteer and ladies team founder Tom Simms, Be Well walk leader Karen Stott and Black Scorpion Karate Club coach Amanda Kershaw.

Highfield Cricket Club, Bedford High School’s Y7 Boys rugby league team and Leigh Leopards’ Learning Disability side were also recognised along with Wigan BEST swimmer Anya Foxwell, who was named Young Sports Achiever of the Year – an award previously won by world athletics superstar Keely Hodgkinson in 2018.

The Believe Sports Awards ceremony has also attracted high-profile special guests in recent years, with Olympic icons Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards and Gail Emms MBE both handing out prizes.

Once again there are eight categories for this year’s event:

  • Changing Lifestyle Recognition Award (sponsored by Technogym)
  • Club of the Year (sponsored by Wigan & Leigh College)
  • Inclusion in Sport Award
  • Overcoming Adversity Through Sport (sponsored by Leigh Leopards)
  • The Martin Lynn Team of the Year (sponsored by Cornerstone)
  • The Wilf Brogan Unsung Hero Award (sponsored by Agilisys)
  • Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Wigan Athletic Community Trust & Wigan Warriors Community Foundation)
  • Young Sports Achiever of the Year

Nominations should reflect achievements between September 2023 and the closing date of July 31, 2024.

For more information visit Wigan.gov.uk/BelieveSportsAwards.