The Greater Manchester Sports Awards take place on 16th November at The Point Emirates Old Trafford. For the last 18 years, they have celebrated the outstanding commitment and achievements made in physical activity and sport across Greater Manchester. BBC Radio Manchester presenter, Chelsea Norris is hosting the evening, joined by guest speaker, Claire Lomas; marathoner, motor biker, hand cyclist and campaigner.
The 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester hold their own awards and the winners from eight categories are invited to the Greater Manchester event. The Believe Sports Awards were held at the DW Stadium on 12th October. The finalists representing Wigan are;
Sports Achiever of the Year - Keely Hodgkinson
Keely competes in athletics for her club, country and nation. She represents England and GB across various distances, she competes in cross country, 800m, 400m and 1500m. Keely is currently the 800m European Champion, National Champion and ranked 1st in the UK for her age. Keely trains 5 days per week, over 3 hours a day and had her best year yet despite juggling all this around her GCSE exams.
Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year Award - Anya Butterworth
Anya competes for the Dwarf Sports Association UK in Football, Swimming, Basketball, Badminton, Track & Field and Boccia. She competed in the 2017 World Games in Canada captaining the GB Football team to a Gold Medal. Overall, Anya won 9 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medal. Anya's motto sums up how she has strived to not let her disability affect her life: "Aim High...It's Not Out of Reach".
Changing Lifestyle Award - Sally Skellern
Sally suffered from multiple debilitating injuries through her job leaving her with complex physical/psychological challenges. Sally was unable to run, lost all confidence and gained weight stuck in bed most days. She made the leap 7 months ago to change her life. With dedication and determination Sally has gained the ability to run again, is no longer on medication for pain and depression and has lost 2 stone in weight.
Volunteer of the Year Award - David Clarke
David volunteers his time as a peer mentor at Wheels for All and disability dance sessions. Previously a participant, David now positively influences other young people with disabilities to take part and supports them. He also volunteers at the local youth zone and community adventure playground. This year David has given over 1000 hours, 6 days a week; only taking Sundays off to support his local church.
Coach of the Year Award - Danielle Knowles
Danielle coaches 5 days a week, evenings and weekends committing 11 hours per week. Danielle oversees and mentors the assistant coaches and leads on the ‘Young leader’ Programme. She is committed to the club and ensures all members get the best training and opportunities possible. She is a role model to members at Wigan Vipers and wishes to see the club grow in size and performance for years to come.
Unsung Hero of the Year Award - Kath Pilkington
Kath has run Vogue Morris dancers for over 40 years. She has been teaching girls from 3-40yrs of age to become champion dancers winning endless medals and trophies. She gives them a desire to achieve and believes in each and every one providing opportunities for all abilities. Kath has dedicated her life to the club and at the age of 70 continues to play a crucial role in its success.
School Commitment to PE & Sport - St George’s Central, Tyldesley
High quality P.E is provided by upskilling teaching staff and working with over 30 local clubs, external providers and athletes. The school commit two hours of PE a week, offer swimming and complete The Daily Mile. They play a pivotal role in the inter-school competitions locally which provide over 260 opportunities for 3000 children to take part. The school provide innovative opportunities and create a positive environment for every child.
Club of the Year Award - Astley and Tyldesley Cycling Club
The club has 110 members participating in cycle speedway, leisure road and off-road rides. The club has worked hard to house top class facilities, making it the North’s Regional Cycle Speedway Centre and North West's Cycle Speedway Academy. They are the first club to win all three North & Scotland League Divisions in the same season and were recently crowned British Cycling's Go-Ride Club of the Year 2017.
Winners will be announced on the evening and shared on twitter, follow along using #GMSportsAwards.