SUNDERLAND goalkeeper Craig Gordon was on hand to launch Sunderland’s annual celebration of its young people.
He joined past winners at the Stadium of Light to encourage Wearsiders to put pen to paper and nominate inspirational youngsters for the Young Achievers Awards.
Open to anyone living in Sunderland aged between 11 and 20, the awards celebrate young people’s achievements, their bravery, their talents and their positive contribution to the life of the city.
Nominations are now open for youngsters who have gone that extra mile, worked hard or who’ve achieved something in the face of adversity.
The winners will be recognised at a special ceremony at the Stadium of Light, on March 8.
Scottish international Craig said the Young Achievers Awards were fantastic.
“They provide the perfect platform to recognise and honour the achievements of these amazing young people,” he said.
“And anyone who has attended will testify what a truly inspiring evening it is.”
Alan Scott, interim manager for Sunderland Council’s Youth Development Group, said: “This year we are looking for what we’ve looked for in previous years, which is young people who have achieved, but may not be the best in their field.
“It’s not all about the winning, it’s about finding the starting point. The categories we have span everything from young carers to music.”
Alan says the awards, now in their 19th year, are an important way of shining a positive light on the city’s youth.
“In my other role I work for the Youth Offending Service,” he added.
“Despite what people think, 95 per cent of young people don’t offend, and these awards highlight the good that young people do. “It’s important to get the message out there that young people are not the evil that the media often portray them to be. It’s not all hoodie culture.”
Speaking about the awards ceremony, Alan said: “It’s hard to keep a dry eye on the awards night with some of the tales of triumph over adversity.
“It’s a sparkling, glitzy night which is exactly what young people deserve.
“It’s important for young people to recognise that they have value in society.”
For more information, contact the Young Achievers Co-ordinator on Tel. 561 7417 or 07867 550 441.