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An inspiration to Greater Manchester
Tuesday 13th November, 2012

An inspiration to Greater Manchester
Left to Right: Cllr Chris Ready, Roy Wood, Chief Executive of WLCT Stuart Murray.

Leisure chiefs in Wigan have hailed a fantastic year of sport which has concluded with Wigan top of the table at a Greater Manchester Awards ceremony.

Three of the seven winners at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards were from Wigan Borough with celebrated wrestling coach Roy Wood from Aspull picking up Coach of the Year and the Be Inspired award.

Roy has worked tirelessly for the last 50 years promoting and volunteering in the sport as well as training two overseas competitors at this year’s Olympics.

Sean Clare from Leigh Harriers Athletics Club won Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year for an outstanding year which saw him break the British Discus record on four separate occasions as well as becoming the first dwarf athlete to throw over 30m. He also won two gold medals at the England Senior Championships.

The event celebrated the achievements of individuals and community clubs across the area. Award nominees were selected due to their contribution at borough level in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Wigan Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure, Cllr Chris Ready, said: “We have been treated to an exceptional summer of sport. The Olympics and Paralympics, the Ryder Cup comeback and Andy Murray’s US Open win gave us all some memorable moments in 2012.

“Just as important as these high profile events are the activities at grass roots that happen every Saturday and Sunday morning up and down the borough.

“These awards celebrate and pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who put the nets up, collect the subs and give their timely freely to make sport happen in their community.”

More than 500 people attended the ceremony on Friday 7 November. Winners from the Wigan Borough Sports Awards which took place in October were put forward for nomination.

Wigan Borough Sports Awards are organised by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s (WLCT) Sports Development Unit to celebrate all the unsung heroes who make sport happen in their community.

Chief Executive of WLCT, Stuart Murray, added: “This is a fantastic finale to a fantastic year of sport.
“WLCT are committed to working with volunteers, not just in sport, to enhance and improve the communities where they live. We hope to build on the success in recent years and continue to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The winners at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards were:

  • Ian Clarke (Salford) - Volunteer of the Year

  • Nathaniel Whiles (Stockport) - Sports Achiever of the Year

  • Sean Clare (Wigan) - Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year

  • Roy Wood (Wigan) - Coach of the Year

  • Moorside Rangers JFC (Salford) - Club of the Year

  • Steve Pullen MBE (Trafford) - Unsung Hero

  • GreaterSport supports The Be Inspired Award, this award goes to the winner who a judging panel believes is leaving the best legacy for 2012 in Greater Manchester, this award went to Coach of the Year Roy Wood.

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