Home News Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Who will we be saluting this year?

Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards: Who will we be saluting this year?


from Athletic Northern Ireland website It has been another eventful and exciting year for Northern Ireland sport. Cyclist Wendy Houvenaghel and boxer Paddy Barnes brought joy to our hearts by winning medals at the Olympics.

There were golden moments for Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop in the Paralympics.

And of course golfer Graeme McDowell enjoyed a fantastic year culminating in an outstanding performance in the Ryder Cup.

Those achievements will be celebrated when The Belfast Telegraph once again honours Northern Ireland’s leading sports stars of the year. And we want YOU, the readers, to help us.

Today we launch The Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards for 2008, a selection process that will culminate in a gala banquet in Belfast in January when the winners will be revealed.

Regarded as the most prestigious sports awards ceremony in the country, The Belfast Telegraph, in association with our joint hosts, the Northern Ireland Sports Forum and our generous sponsors Magners, is proud to celebrate our sporting successes.

On the opposite page you will find a nomination form on which you can recommend your choice of winner from the various categories. As is normally the case the competition will be fierce.

Last year our top award, the Sports Star of the Year, was won by David Healy, who of course scored a record breaking 13 goals in the European Championship qualifying campaign. It was the third time King David won the big prize, though this year a first time winner is on the cards.

And the person following in the footsteps of Northern Ireland’s legendary striker might just have enjoyed a sparkling summer in Beijing.

There may not have been scores of competitors from Northern Ireland in China, but all of them did us proud, especially those who returned home with medals.

Both Wendy Houvenaghel and Paddy Barnes are in the running for the Sports Star of the Year award as are Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop who excelled in the Paralympics.

Ballymena man Michael produced a stunning display in the 800 metres, breaking the world record to win gold.

Eglinton’s Jason was also in world record breaking form in the 100 metres and 200 metres sprinting to glory in both events.

We also have the Player of the Year award which is made to an Ulster player who competes and excels mainly in the province.

The Team of the Year prize is always keenly contested. Contenders will include Linfield and Tyrone, who famously won the All-Ireland against Kerry at Croke Park in September.

There is also the manager/Coach of the Year, Young Team of the Year and Young Player of the Year prizes.

And as usual, we will be going beyond the big back page headlines to honour our disabledsportsmen and women, and those people who make unheralded but significant contributions to local sport at grassroots level.

We don’t want any deserved winners to miss out…and that’s where you can help by filling out that nomination form. Over the coming weeks we’ll update you with news about the forthcoming event but in the meantime, start getting those votes in!

The big evening has been a special event down the years and with the incredible drama we’ve had in sport this year, that trend is sure to continue.

Magners on board for Telegraph Sports Awards
The countdown is now under way for this year’s Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards and legendary Ulster and Irish international David Humphreys helped launched the Telegraph’s partnership with Magners Original Cider who are once again lending their support as main sponsors of the awards.

Gavan Morris, Marketing Manager for Magners said: “Hollywood & Donnelly under the Magners Original brand continues to play an important role within the Northern Ireland sporting arena.

“Over several years, we have established a very successful association with the Belfast Telegraph through the sponsorship of their sports pages and the sports awards.

“We’re delighted to once again back the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards and are pleased to announce a further three year sponsorship of Northern Ireland’s top sports awards programme.

“We believe that Magners Original Cider is a perfect partner with regards to supporting sport and what better way than to be involved in the Sports Awards and to be part of recognising and rewarding some of the best and most talented Northern Ireland performers.

“Once again we are looking forward to the awards ceremony which takes place on Monday January 19 at the Ramada Hotel.”

Northern Ireland has many fantastic sporting heroes, both young and old, making their name at home and abroad and the annual Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards aim to honour these players, teams, managers and some of those unsung heroes working behind the scenes.

Individual category awards include Team and Player of the Year sponsored by Club Energise and Pepsi, Manager/Coach of the Year, Young Team of the Year sponsored by Peugeot, Young Player of the Year and the Hall of Fame Award.

Other award categories include Local Heroes supported by Sport Northern Ireland, Sports Person with a Disability, backed by Disability Needs and the WJ ‘Paddy’ Patterson Award sponsored by the Northern Ireland Sports Forum.

Magners will also lend its name to the top award, the Northern Ireland Sports Star of the Year.

Nominate your choices for the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards
The purpose of the awards, organised in association with the Northern Ireland Sports Forum and sponsored by Magners Cider, is to identify sporting achievement and recognise those individuals, teams and organisations whose contribution to Ulster sport is outstanding. Nominations may be made by organisations, governings bodies of sport, district councils, local sports councils and individuals.

How to Nominate
You can nominate in all of the categories. Each nomination should be supported by a citation of not more than 200 words.

Citations should also include your name, address and daytime telephone number and should arrive not later than 12 noon on Monday, 1 December. Send them by email to [email protected]

General conditions
The awards recognise achievement, service and overall contribution in relation to those sports and physical recreations which are recognised by Sports NI and Northern Ireland Sports Forum and are judged on the events and achievements of the 2008 calender year, with the exception of ‘The Hall of Fame’ and ‘The WJ Paddy Patterson Award’. The awards are made by a panel of judges, chaired by the sports editor of the Belfast Telegraph.

Visit the Belfast Telegraph website to nominate now.