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 Stockport Sports Awards were held at Houldsworth Golf Club on 5th October. The finalists representing Stockport are;
Sports Achiever of the Year
Lizzie is an international swimmer with a big reputation. Over the past 12 months she has won 5 British National titles and also went to Casablanca for the World School Games where she won 2 tiles. She has also represented Great Britain and England, which is a fantastic achievement. Lizzie currently trains 10 times a week and on top of that has to fit College work in.
Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year Award
Sophie is a Rhythmic Gymnast who has competed at International Competitions. Over the past 12 months she has worked hard to overcome many barriers and is now training 5 times a week and although she has a disability she competes in mainstream competitions. At a recent competition in Bulgaria she finished 5th and 7th, and was part of the group who finished 7th in the British Championships.
Changing Lifestyle Award
Before she joined the gym, Laura weighed 14 stone 2 pounds, and after having her second child she could not lose the weight. She was very low and lacking in confidence and through her doctor was referred to the PARiS scheme. Through setting small targets and the introduction of new classes she has transformed her figure and life. She has now become a 10-stone confident lady!
Volunteer of the Year Award
Richard is the Chairman of Stockport Metro Football Junior League and has been since the league began in 1981. Richard spends numerous hours dedicated to the cause and in addition to negotiating venue hire, organising fixtures, competitions and trips abroad, he is also the Cyber and Welfare Officer of the league. He is always happy to help, going out of his way to get a suitable solution for all involved.
Coach of the Year Award
Ian has been coaching at Stockport Basketball Club for 15 years, volunteering over 20 hours a week. A level 3 coach, referee and table official, Ian has coached thousands of people and built long standing relationships with many club members encouraging them to stay involved in the sport. His team won the WMABL plate for the third consecutive year and his NW U13 girls team won the National Championships.
Unsung Hero of the Year Award
Rod has been refereeing football throughout Stockport and Cheshire for over 35 years and during this time he has donated all of his fees (over £50,000) to local children’s charities. Thousands of people have benefited from Rod giving his time to the sport and more recently he has mentored many younger referees and is a fantastic role model within the game.
Nevill Road Junior School
In addition to the school offering two hours per week of PE and ensuring children take part in 30 minutes of physical activity per day, they have a wide range of extra-curricular activities. CPD is offered to all staff from a range of trainers/partners and there are fantastic cross-curricular links, for example Maths of the Day. Young Ambassadors also organise and deliver innovative projects such as Active Through the Ages.
Club of the Year Award
Stockport Metro Swimming Club
Currently the club has 350 swimmers from ages 7-28 years. Over this season at the British Nationals they were the 2nd top club (joint top on golds with 12), regional champions in the NW, County Champions for Cheshire, Arena League Finalists, and Junior League A Finalists. Club member, Holly Hibbot won a silver and a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and a gold and 2 bronze medals at the European Championships.
This year also sees a new award, the Greater Manchester Mayor’ Award, which is selected and presented by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. The award recognises an individual or organisation who shows outstanding commitment to Greater Manchester Moving and their target to achieve 75% of people active or fairly active by 2025. The three finalists chosen by The Mayor are;
Cancer Research North West Events Team
This year the Race for Life team in the North West delivered events across Greater Manchester (Wigan, Leigh, Oldham, Stockport & Manchester) engaging over 13,100 women and children and raising almost £600,000 for life-saving cancer research. The events are suitable for any ability with the mantra of ‘walk, jog or run’; getting active for the cause and with it finding a healthier lifestyle. The events are linked to local health and leisure providers so that participants can continue to carry on getting active after the event. The female-only events are for all ages, and men can get involved to by volunteering at the events. Each event sees over 150 people from Greater Manchester involved in voluntary work.
St Mary’s RC Primary School, Middleton
The school aims to offer all children the maximum opportunity to achieve the Active 60 minutes a day within the school day. Within the school day, there are a variety of programmes that are extra to the Curriculum PE that each child receives. Programmes such as the Premier League Reading Scheme, The Daily Mile, Walk to School Scheme plus providing Physical Literacy Equipment bags. They run a free, over-subscribed after school programme for all pupils, pupils who do not attend an extra-curricular club are also sent personal invites to attend. The school has purchased balance bikes for their nursery and Key Stage 1 pupils to ensure all children can learn to ride a bike, supporting their Bikeability scheme for Key Stage 2 pupils. The school are also engaging with parents by providing take-home bags to support physical activity at home. The students are actively involved in decisions with regards to the provision of physical activity at the school.
Greater Manchester Ability Counts League
The Greater Manchester Ability Counts League, offers PAN Disability Football on a fortnightly basis, to both Adults and Children with disabilities. The 8 volunteer committee members who run the league, work extremely hard to ensure an inclusive league catering for all needs and is enjoyable for all. The league continues to grow and has over 50 teams from across Greater Manchester attending each month, with both male and female players. If you were to ask any player who attends the league, what they enjoy most, it will be the atmosphere created by the volunteers. Without the league, there wouldn’t be the opportunity for participants to make new friends, have fun and most importantly help improve their fitness, self-esteem and give them the opportunity to be feel part of a team that achieves something. The league does Greater Manchester proud each season, enabling disabled footballers to participate and represent their local team.
Sara Tomkins, CEO at GreaterSport said;
I’m looking forward to a great night celebrating the finalists’ outstanding achievements over the past twelve months and I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck and I hope you have a successful and enjoyable evening.
Winners will be announced on the evening and shared on twitter, follow along using #GMSportsAwards.