Nominations are now open for the Pride of Tameside Sports Awards
Monday 19th June 2017 15:42 Sports Posted by Mark Phillip

Nominations are now open for this year’s Pride of Tameside Sports Awards.

The search is on to find Tameside’s top sports performers, teams, groups and individuals before nominations close on Saturday 5 August.

Taking place at Dukinfield Town Hall on Friday 22 September, the event, hosted by TV presenter Ben Shephard, is expected to attract 200 people plus a very special guest.

Looking ahead to the event, Andy Dwyer, who is tasked with organising the evening, said: “The Pride of Tameside Sports Awards has been going for about 15 years.

“We started out in Stalybridge Civic Hall, which was a very small and informal event that attracted about 20 people, but it’s grown and grown to the stage we’re currently at now.

“We’re expecting 200 people in September, just like we had last year.”

Andy believes the event is a great way of not only celebrating the visible achievements of sports clubs and individuals, but also the often overlooked and unseen commitment of those behind the scenes. He said: “There are seven categories this year, including a new award which includes schools as well.

“One of the categories included in this year’s event is the Unsung Hero of the Year award.

“If you look at a cricket club, there may be a groundsman who has been working there for 20 or 30 years, so I think that’s a nice award for people to win.

“There’s also the Sports Achiever award, and that’s aimed at people who are competing at regional, county and national level.”

Other awards will include Club of the Year, Coach of the Year, and the Alex Williams Volunteer of the Year.

Highlighting the importance of the latter award, Andy said: “We’ve named the Volunteer of the Year award in Alex’s memory.

“Without volunteers our community sports clubs just wouldn’t exist, so that’s really nice for people to win.”

Having become an integral part of the awards night in recent years, the Believe and Achieve Trust will be dishing out its very own title in September. “Alison, who is the Director of the Believe and Achieve Trust, has been fantastic over the years” said Andy.

“There is going to be a separate award for the trust this year, which is going to be given to one of the bursaries, but that’s being kept under wraps for the time being.”

Although this year’s special guest hasn’t been decided, previous stars have included former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, and former Ashes winning England captain Michael Vaughan. Andy said: “We’ve built quite a nice portfolio of sponsorship up, so we can actually fund a really nice speaker for people to be empowered and inspired by on the evening.

“It’s under wraps at the moment, although we have a shortlist of about 10 people.

“We are trying to make it a bit different this year, so we’re looking at a different audience, rather than it being focused on football or cricket.

“We could be looking towards triathlon and athletics.”

Those wishing to nominate a team, group or individual for this year’s event can do so on the following link:

You can listen to a full interview with Andy here: