Sport stars in the spotlight as the 16th Leeds Sports Awards is launched

The launch of the 2019 Sports Awards with Leeds stars and sponsors at Elland Road on Saturday.The launch of the 2019 Sports Awards with Leeds stars and sponsors at Elland Road on Saturday.
The launch of the 2019 Sports Awards with Leeds stars and sponsors at Elland Road on Saturday.
The 16th Leeds Sports Awards have been launched to celebrate the city's sporting achievements from grassroots to professional athletes.

It took place on the pitch at Elland Road at half time on Saturday during the Leeds United game with Nottingham Forest.

Organisers and sponsors were joined by some of the city’s most successful athletes including Josh Warrington, Jack Laugher MBE, Lois Toulson and Hannah Cockroft MBE.

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The awards ceremony, where prizes will be handed out in 14 categories, will take place at first direct Arena on Thursday February 28, and it will be the third year the venue has staged the ceremony. More than 800 guests are expected to attend.

The awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of people and groups across the city, including grass roots, professional clubs and athletes, through to coaches, administrators and volunteers.

Peter Smith, Chair of Sport Leeds, said: “2018 has been a great year of sport so far with many successes at world, Commonwealth, international and national levels.

“The awards will provide the city with the opportunity to reflect on the year and celebrate its many achievements. It’s certainly a date on the Leeds sporting calendar which cannot be missed.”

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Nominations are now being invited for young and senior achievers while a whole section of the night will be focusing on special contributions and coaches and volunteers working behind the scenes.

Criteria for the categories are:

Young Achiever:

• Young Sportsperson – with significant success at city, county, regional, national or international level;

• Young Disability Sportsperson – has significant success at city, county, regional, national or international level;

• Young Club/Team – Outstanding success or significant one-off achievement in last year by local team in junior competition, in a recognised sport.

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Senior achievers (voted for by the public from a pre-determined list selected by the judging panel):

• Sportsman and Sportswoman – has had success, national or international, in the last year;

• Sportsman and Sportswoman Disability – has achieved success at a national or international level in the last year.

• Coach – Inspirational support beyond grassroots level or at elite level.

Special Contribution:

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• Student Sport – For those in full time education. Award recognises student clubs, teams or individual athletes who have achieved national/international success at and contributed significantly to their community through voluntary activities;

• Coach – Recognises the important and inspirational role of coaches based in Leeds, who works with amateur clubs and athletes at grassroots level.

• Volunteer – For significant time and effort in community sport or physical activity;

• Outstanding Service to Sport – Total commitment and dedication to sport over a considerable period of time in Leeds. They should be an ambassador for sport at a recognised level.

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• Service to P.E. and School Sport – Award recognises schools, groups or individuals in their environment who have made a significant contribution to school sport and physical education in Leeds.

• Club/Team – Performance – This award aims to recognise and celebrate success in the last year of a Leeds-based club or organisation performing in a recognised sport competing in a Yorkshire, national, international or world context.

There will be a new award for 2019 - the Leeds Cares Award in association with the Yorkshire Evening Post.

It will be presented to an individual or group that has shown outstanding commitment to getting people active in our city.

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Along with Leeds Cares (formerly known as Leeds Hospital Charitable Foundation), other sponsors of the event are Ringways Motor Group, Motability, LeedsBID and Leeds City Council.

A Council spokesperson said: “Our aim is to help Leeds be the most active big city in the United Kingdom.

“Our two key challenges over the next three years are to increase participation in sport and active lifestyles and to work with partners to reduce health inequalities across the city.”

To be eligible, nominee must have been born in, reside, train or compete for a club within the Leeds City Council boundaries between January and December 2018.