ATHLETES have been honoured at a special ceremony to recognise their sporting success last year.

Winners of the 2017 Believe Sports Awards were invited to the mayor of Wigan borough's parlour at Wigan Town Hall to be praised for their hard work, dedication and commitment in their sports.

Four of the athletes also went on to win eight accolades at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards including Hindley's GB wheelchair rugby player Daniel Dawoud for the Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year award and Mike Hack from Astley and Tyldesley Cycling Club, who won the Unsung Hero gong.

Danni Williams from Musuko Karate Academy, which has bases in Leigh and Lowton, picked up the Sports Achiever of the Year award at the Greater Manchester event too.

Wigan Wasps Swimming Club's Rick Atkinson won Coach of the Year.

Mayor of Wigan borough, Cllr Bill Clarke, said: “It was an honour to invite the winners to the town hall to celebrate their outstanding contributions to sports in the borough.

“We are so proud of the volunteers, coaches and rising sports stars who are paving the way for more sports success in the future.

“It was also fantastic to scoop so many awards at a regional level and to see the stars of Wigan borough truly shining.”

Guests on the day include 10 athletes from the seventh round of the Believe Sport Talent Fund, which was launched in 2015 and supports athletes who perform at a national standard or are on their way to getting to that level, as well as being aged from 11 to 24.

There have been 60 young people in the borough who have been supported so far with up to £500 given from Wigan Council’s Deal for Communities Investment Fund to pay for fees such as travel, accommodation, competitions, training fees and equipment.

Managing director of Inspiring healthy lifestyles Pete Burt added: “There are some amazing individuals and teams striving to be the best in their chosen sport, but there are also many groups and individuals who give up their time and effort to volunteer and ensure sport in the community happens week in week out.

“If you know someone who deserves to be recognised please do make this year the year you nominate them.”

The 2018 Believe Sports Awards take place in October with nominations open at the end of March.

It is organised by Inspiring healthy lifestyles on behalf of the council.

For more information about the awards, visit or contact 01942 488 495.