The 18th annual Greater Manchester Sports Awards took place at the Emirates Old Trafford on Friday, November 16 – and it was a night to remember for Tameside and Oldham.
Russell Scott Primary School, Denton, won the School Commitment to PE and Sport Award, while Dom Doyle FC, which was created following the tragic death of the 19-year-old in 2015, won Club of the Year.
Andy Steel, who is heavily involved at AFC Oldham, found his efforts rewarded with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
The event, which had over 500 guests in attendance, is held to celebrate the outstanding commitment and achievements made in physical activity and sport across Greater Manchester over the past 12 months.
The night featured the motivational guest speaker Claire Lomas; marathoner, motorcyclist, hand cyclist and campaigner who returned to Manchester after completing this year’s Greater Manchester Marathon in a robotic suit. During the ceremony, Claire said: “Sport and physical activity have the power to transform lives so it’s vital that we celebrate and reward those who help to get communities more active. I’m thrilled to be returning to Greater Manchester, after completing the Marathon here earlier this year, to be part of this year’s event and look forward to celebrating the achievements of the people here in Greater Manchester.”
Also in attendance was Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, who gave out his own award to the Greater Manchester Ability Counts League – a volunteer-run multi-impairment football league for all ages, genders and abilities. With over 50 teams from across Greater Manchester and the North West, the league provides the opportunity for disabled footballers to get active and socialise, where many would not do otherwise.
Despite fierce competition in each category, the winners from Tameside and Oldham won their respective awards due the following reasons:
Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Emirates Old Trafford – Andy Steel – Oldham
Andy volunteers for Oldham AFC where he is currently second team manager, academy coach, executive committee member and social media officer. Andy also supports Andy’s Man Club wherever he can – a group designed to support men to talk about mental health issues. Andy has not missed a day’s training session or match in the last year and is always available to talk to, or listen to anyone at the club.
School Commitment to PE and Sport Award sponsored by University Academy 92 – Russell Scott Primary School – Tameside
This school provides high quality PE, giving all children 2 hours minimum PE each week. They invest in employing sports professionals and training staff, to deliver sessions and were awarded gold in the Tameside School’s Food4Life award. All children and staff take part in The Daily Mile and sports clubs are free, breaking down cost barriers. This school lives and breathes sport, encouraging everyone to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Club of the Year sponsored by Steroplast – Dom Doyle F.C. – Tameside
Formed in memory of Dominic Doyle, this club works to raise awareness of knife crime, visiting schools to encourage young people to stay away from drugs, gangs and crime. The club provides its volunteers with regular training, recognising their work at presentation evenings. Accomplishments include; Manchester FA ‘Team of the Year’ last November, 2017 & 2018 Tameside Football League Cup winners, 2018 Lancashire & Cheshire League Cup winners and Wray Cup winners.
Following the event, GreaterSport CEO Sara Tomkins said: “The Greater Manchester Sports Awards are so important to recognise the work across our region and the positive impact on people’s lives. Without tonight’s finalists, physical activity and sport in Greater Manchester would not be the success it is and their achievements should be celebrated. I congratulate all the winners for their outstanding achievements over the last 12 months.”