A DISABILITY sports group has backed the inaugural Sunderland Echo Sports Awards.
Tyne and Wear Disability Sport Forum has come out in support of the event, which taking place on July 26.
The awards will celebrate the very best sporting talents in Sunderland, their clubs and coaches.
The forum works to improve the opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sport and physical activity and realise their sporting potential.
Although there is one award specifically for contribution to disability sports, disabled athletes are welcome to apply for all awards which include the team award, special achievement award and coach or mentor award.
David Marrin, pictured right, chairman of the Tyne and Wear Disability Sport Forum, said: “The forum works to increase the quantity and improve the quality of opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in sport.
“It also seeks to help disabled athletes fulfil their physical and sporting potential.
“The Sunderland Echo Sports Awards are a great way to acknowledge not only the sporting achievements of local athletes, but also the excellent work that’s done by coaches and volunteers to support them.”
Councillor Mel Speding, cabinet secretary for the city council, said: “It would be great to see these people being recognised for their commitment to disability sport.”
Sponsored by EDF Energy, the event will take place at the Stadium of Light and shortlisted nominees will receive two tickets for themselves and a guest.
Judging the entries received by Echo readers will be ex-Black Cats star Marco Gabbiadini, Echo editor Rob Lawson and Kevin Gatens, from EDF Energy.
16-18 Team Award
Special Achievement Award
Youth 16-18 Sportsperson Special Achievement Award
Sports Official / Referee Award
Coach or Mentor Award
Contribution to Disability Sports Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Unsung Hero Award
Performance of the Year Award
The Ian Laws Award for a special contribution to sport in Sunderland, at the Editor’s discretion
Sports Personality of Year Award