Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Hunt for Heroes ; Organisers Are Seeking to Reward and Honour the City's Excellence and Endeavour at the Prestigious Fifth Annual Manchester Sports Awards

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Hunt for Heroes ; Organisers Are Seeking to Reward and Honour the City's Excellence and Endeavour at the Prestigious Fifth Annual Manchester Sports Awards

Article excerpt

THERE'S plenty more to Manchester sport than the exploits of United's and City's Premier League superstars. Indeed, they're more than amply rewarded for raising the city's profile both nationally and internationally.

But for every Robin van Persie or Sergio Aguero, there are thousands of unknowns who indulge in their particular sporting passion without recognition or reward.

And in all cases they wouldn't have it any other way.

However, once a year they're given am opportunity to enjoy their moment in the spotlight. For them, the Manchester Sports Awards Dinner is up there with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

The Awards - now in their fifth year - are organised by Manchester City Council in conjunction with the Wythenshawe Sports Trust.

They recognise the hard work and achievements of local volunteers, coaches, and athletes who have made an impact in their particular field.

Now, M.E.N Sport is getting on board to highlight the undiscovered sporting talent in our area.

The 2013 edition will take place at The Forum in Wythenshawe on October 25.

Former Great Britain international and Sydney Olympic 400 metres silver medalist, Katharine Merry, will host the evening as she did in 2012.

With many of the area's locally-based London 2012 stars in attendance, including taekwondo gold medalist Jade Jones and GB basketball star Julie Page, the Awards night was hailed as the best yet.

Valerie Zebrokova was among the award winners, nominated for and collecting the Junior Sports Achiever.

And 15-year-old Fallowfield based Zebrokova is a good example of what the Awards are all about.

She started to ride BMX when she was 11, at Platt Fields Park BMX track when it was first built back in 2008.

International From that point she has progressed rapidly in club, regional and national race series to now where she races against the world's best on the international stage.

In 2012, she finished third in her age group world championship at Birmingham. Then there was coach of the year Henry Finney. He has coached boxing three times a week for the last 25 years at Ardwick Lads Club, including training several national champions.

He became Manchester's first ever Level 2 coach and the first Amateur Boxing Association Senior Executive member for the North West. …

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