Nominations open for special people’s champions awards

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People are being urged to take part in a public vote to crown their local sporting heroes as the St Edmundsbury Sports Awards opens voting for the 2016 People’s Champion and the People’s Young Champion awards.

The nominations for both can be found on the St Edmundsbury Sports Awards Facebook page from today (September 16) and will be open for a week, with the winner of each category to be selected from the nominee with the most ‘likes’.

The winners will then be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on October 11 to mark the 10th anniversary of the awards, run by Abbeycroft Leisure, along with the winners of the other 10 categories.

Last year’s winner of the People’s Champion award, Julie Ankers, was recognised for her outstanding contribution to Haverhill Rovers Football Club and, in particular, her volunteering work with the youth development.

She said: “I love football and it’s so rewarding to see young, disillusioned players who are often unaware of their talent, develop into amazing confident, senior players and we can only achieve this with a well structured youth division.”

She added: “It was so lovely being recognised for my work last year, even though I’m very much a behind-the-scenes type person”.

Since winning, Ankers has left Haverhill Rovers to join AFC Sudbury as their academy administrator and is working on the expansion of their youth academy.

Last year’s People’s Youth Champion was won by England basketball player Esther Little, who made her debut for the Under-15s national side a year young.

Little, who plays for Ipswich, reaching the National League Play-offs two years running, has enjoyed further success over the past 12 months, breaking into the England Under-16s squad to make her debut.

Jo Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s portfolio holder for culture and leisure, said: “The sports awards are a fantastic way to celebrate local sporting talent and the hard work and commitment from the many volunteers in our area and I wish everyone who is shortlisted this year the best of luck.”

To vote, visit the St Edmundsbury Sports Awards dedicated Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/StEdmundsburySportsAwards and be sure to like the original nominee’s picture, rather than a shared picture.