Sport NI’s annual SportMaker Awards Celebration Evening recognised and honoured coaches, volunteers, and officials for their contribution to sports. After a year-long break due to the pandemic, the event returned to celebrate outstanding individuals and projects that supported, developed, and encouraged people to participate in sports. The ceremony awarded 11 SportMakers, each with an inspirational story, including our own Erroll Lutton, who won Performance COach of the Year for his outstanding efforts throughout the year and Young Official of the Year Amy Jones, who umpired local games and went on to officiate at the European level. The Project of the Year award went to Anna Pim, who set up a CPR and defibrillator awareness course for over 300 young hockey players in clubs across the country.
Sport NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown praised the winners, stating that coaches, volunteers, and officials are the backbone of sports and without them, sports could not happen. The award ceremony also featured influential figures from the world of sports, including Luke Carson, Rhys McClenaghan’s coach, and Boccia World Champion Claire Taggart and her coach Glynn Tromans. The event also included Q&A sessions and panel discussions with coaches and athletes, including a discussion on the success of Team NI at the Commonwealth Games.
Chair of Sport NI, George Lucas, expressed his admiration for the winners and the dedication of coaches, volunteers, and officials who work behind the scenes to make sports happen. He also recognized all the nominees for their inspirational work in administering, coaching, or officiating sports. The SportMaker Awards serve to recognise and showcase the tireless efforts of these unsung sporting heroes, and put them on center stage for their outstanding contributions.
Congratulations to our very Ulster Hockey winners, a well deserved night of recognition for the fantastic achievements made over the past year.