SPORTS stars of the future were celebrated at the 17th Believe Sports Awards last night.

The annual event at Wigan’s DW Stadium also recognised the dedicated volunteers who support grassroots sports across the borough.

More than 300 guests attended the awards ceremony and the winners included Leigh Genesis Football Club and Tyldesley’s Garrett Hall Primary School.

Leigh Amateur Boxing Club’s Pete Prescott, Leigh Leisure Centre’s Steven Johnson and Astley and Tyldesley Cycling Club’s Mike Hack picked up individual awards in the event organised by Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and sponsored by Wigan Council.

Professor Kate Ardern, director of public health for the council, said: “These awards are an important milestone in the Wigan borough’s sporting calendar.

“This event is the perfect opportunity to thank and celebrate all of our homegrown talent, sporting stars of the future and the coaches and volunteers who put thousands of hours of effort into shaping our sporting landscape.

“The Believe Sports Awards shows us why we should be incredibly proud of our sporting heritage within the borough.”

Leigh Genesis were named Club of the Year to add to their Lancashire FA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year and Lancashire FA Best Inclusive Project award wins this year.

The club were recognised for delivered successful projects including Trim Down Shape Up, Men’s Social Football, Walking Football and sessions for asylum seekers and refugees.

Garrett Hall Primary School won the Martin Lynn School Commitment to PE and Sport Award.

The school offers high quality PE through a combination of upskilling teaching staff and working with a variety of clubs and external providers and has a variety of ways to get pupils active, including active playtimes, the Daily Mile and Wake Up and Shake Up.

Coach Pete Prescott, who works with registered boxers and anyone from the wider community with an interest in learning to box or simply improving their fitness level, picked up the Volunteer of the Year gong.

Steven Johnson was given the Changing Lifestyle Recognition Award after losing more than 6st since December through an improved diet and increased activity.

The Wilf Brogan Unsung Hero in Sport Award winner Mike Hack has held various roles in the cycling community for more than 40 years and plays a crucial role in the running and development of the Astley and Tyldesley club.

Gareth Cross, chairman of trustees at Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, said: “It is a real privilege to be involved in an event that recognises not only the outstanding individuals and teams who strive to be the best in their sport but also the amazing volunteers who go the extra mile to support that talent.

“Every nominee holds a special place in the sporting make up of the Wigan borough.”

The other award winners were Wigan St Patrick’s under 14s Magpies rugby league side (Team of the Year), Musuko Karate Academy’s Danni Williams (Sports Achiever of the Year), Great Britain wheelchair rugby ace Daniel Dawoud (Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year), Wigan Wasps Swimming Club’s Rick Atkinson (Coach of the Year) and Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Jack Brooker (Apprentice of the Year).

The event also saw eight successful applicants for the borough’s Believe Talent Fund awarded grants of up to £500 from the council.

The youngsters given grants included Leigh Harriers Athletics Club’s Keely Hodgkinson and Astley and Tyldesley Cycling Club’s Max Evans.

A selection of the award winners will now represent the borough in the Greater Manchester Sports Awards at The Point, Old Trafford, on November 17 in the hope of being crowned regional champion.

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