Unified sports awards could be in the pipeline for local council

Mayor of  Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Billy Ashe presents former boxer Roy Webb with the the Hall of Fame award at the Larne Sports Awards organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in Larne Leisure Centre. Also pictured is Gary Haveron, left, from Carrick Rangers FC with the Manager of the Year award and Bobler Martin McHugh, right, with the Sportsperson of the Year award.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Billy Ashe presents former boxer Roy Webb with the the Hall of Fame award at the Larne Sports Awards organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in Larne Leisure Centre. Also pictured is Gary Haveron, left, from Carrick Rangers FC with the Manager of the Year award and Bobler Martin McHugh, right, with the Sportsperson of the Year award.

One Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Sports Awards could be in the pipeline, the Times can reveal.

Members of the local authority’s Operational Committee met in Carrick Town Hall on Monday and backed a recommendation to scrap the current model which saw each of its three main areas - Larne, Carrick and Ballymena - host individual ceremonies earlier this year.

Monday night’s decision has to be ratified at full council but could spell the end of Larne’s awards which have been running since 2007. Carrick hosted its first-ever sports awards in March.

A report tabled at the meeting also revealed the total net cost for the three sports awards events was £14,272. Expenditure was £20,262, and income generated £5,990.

Back in November councillors agreed to three separate events being staged to recognise the sporting achievements in the legacy council areas.

But Monday’s report read: “One main event would raise the profile of the event itself as it would showcase the very best of talent across Mid and East Antrim.

“A high-profile event celebrating the success of athletes across the Council area would bring a wider range of sports clubs together from across the whole borough and help to bring greater integration and cohesion across sporting clubs and communities who would attend the event.

“Such an event may require a venue which could provide greater capacity than those used for this year’s events.”

The report also emphasised the public relations benefits of the awards.

“(It’s) a positive way of engaging with the public and recognising the wealth of talent and achievements which exists in our Borough.

“This type of event is always well received by the media, public and the sporting community,” it read.