Date: 13 Mar 2023
Local Belfast boxers stole the show at the Belfast Sports Awards celebrations in Belfast City Hall on Friday 10 March.
Local Belfast boxers stole the show at the Belfast Sports Awards celebrations in Belfast City Hall this evening (Friday 10 March).
Former two-weight World Champion boxer, Carl Frampton, Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist, Paddy Barnes, and former Olympic boxing Coach, Michael Hawkins were inducted into Belfast City Council’s Sporting Hall of Fame joining an illustrious list of local sports heroes, which includes Dame Mary Peters, Hugh Russell, and Sammy McIlroy.
The boxing success continued, as boxing siblings Aidan and Michaela Walsh were announced as Senior Male and Senior Female Sports Personality of the Year following their gold medal successes at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Belfast Sports Awards recognise the sporting achievements of local athletes at all levels and give recognition to the dedication and commitment of coaches and volunteers who work to support their athletes and clubs.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Christina Black said the breadth of sporting talent in Belfast across so many different sports was amazing.
Councillor Black said: "The talent in the room this evening is incredible. Having the opportunity to meet so many great sportspeople across Belfast and hear of their commitment and dedication to their sport is inspiring. Without doubt tonight has been one of the highlights of my year in office as first citizen.
"Not only do we have so many elite high performing athletes competing on the world stage, but our grassroots teams and coaches continue to demonstrate incredible success year on year.
"But even more importantly, we're lucky to have people who tirelessly give of their time to volunteer and support others, particularly our younger athletes, to reach their full potential and experience healthy lifestyles.
“Congratulations to all of our nominees and award winners on what has been a special evening of celebration.”
There were two additional inductees to the Sporting Hall of Fame this year. Irish International field hockey star, Shirley McCay, who continues to play and coach with her local club Pegasus, and Fiona Shannon, Ulster GAA Handball joined the boxing trio.
Junior Male Sports Personality of the Year was awarded to Toby Thompson from the Ballymena and Antrim Athletics Club. Ellie Patrick of the Junior Belfast Giants Ice Hockey team won Junior Female Sports Personality of the year and Nathan McCabe of the Belfast Knights American Football team won Disability Sports Personality of the Year.
Other awards presented on the evening included Coach of the Year. Olympic and Commonwealth Games boxing coach, John Conlon won Male Coach of the Year. Laverty Celtic Football club coach Emma Morgan won Female Coach of the year and Disability Coach of the Year was given to Kenny Bell as head coach of St. Malachy’s Old Boys Youth team.
Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Alicia Donaghy of North Belfast Forum, the Healthy Lifestyles award went to Tomaz Rzonca of Polish Anglers NI and the Pathways to Clubs award went to Gary Vernon of the St. Malachy’s Old Boys FC.