Rochdale finalists for Greater Manchester Sports Awards announced

By GreaterSport | 01 November 2019 | TAGS:


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For 19 years, Greater Manchester have celebrated the outstanding commitment and achievements made in physical activity and sport across the County through The Greater Manchester Sports Awards and this year’s event is fast approaching. The 2019 event will take place on 15th November at The Point Emirates Old Trafford.

The 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester hold their own awards and the winners from eight categories are invited to the Greater Manchester event to represent their borough.

The Rochdale Sports Awards were held at the Middleton Arena on 11th September and the winners on the evening who will now represent Rochdale at The Greater Manchester Sports Awards are;

Changing Lifestyle Award

For a person who has used physical activity to transform their lifestyle for the better.

Gordon Aaron

Gordon has been married to his wife for 55 years and after making the difficult decision for her to move to a care home, has increased his walking and completed a half marathon at the age of 83. The social aspect has helped take his mind off the struggles of dealing with his wife’s dementia, releasing endorphins and reducing stress. Gordon has inspired many others at Vets in the Community and the Walking Group to do more exercise.


Club of the Year

For a community club or community group who has had an impact in their local community in the given time period. 

Rochdale Hornets Sporting Foundation

Rochdale Hornets are a local charity inspiring more people to play rugby league more often. Working with community groups, schools, local clubs and the National Governing Body for the sport, RFL, they have coached over 14,000 schoolchildren. They have set up the only Women’s Rugby League Team and Wheelchair Rugby League Team in the borough whilst developing programmes aimed at South Asian Communities and over 35s.


Young Sports Achiever of the Year

This award is for young athletes (aged under 18) who are not professionally funded who have had significant success in their sport throughout the year.

Peter Reilly-Day

Aged 15, Peter is the World Champion in kettlebell at 16kg and is training hard to progress to 24kg. He was European Champion last year and stays behind after school to train. He also plays a variety of sports to supplement his training, as he is thirsty to achieve more. Peter wants the best for others and works as a sports leader to inspire younger children to become more active.


Unsung Hero

This award recognises long term volunteers (over 10 years) who have made a significant difference over that timeframe.

Mohammed Sheraz

Sheraz helps homeless people, Refugees and Asylum Seekers access sport provision at leisure centres, community centres, parks and open spaces. He regularly visits people who are struggling during evenings and weekends and gets them involved in positive activities such as swimming, family sports festivals and park activities. Sheraz inspires people of different ages, faiths and social backgrounds to volunteer and supports many into employment within sport and leisure.


Volunteer of the Year

This award is for volunteers who have given up their time to volunteer over the given time frame. 

Elham Afzal

A sports volunteer for several organisations, Elham has dedicated over 540 hours since September 2017. She volunteers for Manchester Futsal Club, British University League Taekwondo, GB Taekwondo, Tour De Manc, Street 2 Feet homeless football tournament, as well as at university. Setting up a campaign with her university sports teams, she held a charity drive for Barnados UK. Elham always volunteers to take part and lead any event or project and goes out of her way to help others.


Workforce Advocate

This award recognises an individual that has used physical activity or sport within their professional role to have positive impacts.

Shirley Waller
Shirley has worked for Link4Life for 30 years and has set up 20 weekly Functional Fitness, Active Living, Cardiac Rehab and Cancer Specific programmes, and oversees five Walking Football sessions and The Active Ageing programme. Participants have now increased their weekly exercise levels, quality of life and overall health and wellbeing. Over 1,000 people benefit from Shirley’s area of work on a weekly basis.


School Commitment to PE and Sport Award

This award recognises schools that have gone above and beyond in respect to incorporating activity into a school day for their pupils and staff.

Holy Family RC Primary School

‘Wake up and shake’ is carried out daily, lessons are taken outside where possible and additional specialists are brought in. PE is a focus on the timetable with all classes receiving at least two hours per week. Last year 95% of children participated in sport after school. The school has targeted disadvantaged children and children who are reluctant to stay for after school sports. The Sports coordinator consulted with those reluctant pupils and built a club around their needs.


Initiative of the Year

This award recognises a physical activity initiative by an organisation which has made a difference in communities and achieved positive social outcomes.

GM Walking Football

The Greater Manchester Walking Football League enables individuals and teams to get back into football but at a slower pace. Each month 220 participants attend the league and take part. The league has created resilient habits for all so they not only improve their health and physical fitness but also increase their motivation, self-confidence and enable them to be part of a team again. 


For more information on the Awards including a full list of finalists currently announced and how to purchase tickets please visit The winners will be announced on the evening and shared on twitter using #GMSportsAwards.

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