Uncertainty over Covid sees Sports Awards called off

MID and East Antrim Borough Council have taken the decision to call off its Annual Sports Awards due to the uncertainty around Covid-19.

The Council says no ceremony will be held in 2021 with the next awards bash set for 2022.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor, Peter Johnston said: “Each year we get the opportunity to mark the contribution that local people make to sport across the Borough. However, given challenges we face because of Covid-19 we have taken the decision to postpone the 2021 Awards.

“This was a difficult decision for Council but considering the current restrictions, the fact that sport has been severely affected over the last eight months and the uncertainty of what restrictions might be in place in March 2021 it was the most appropriate course of action to take.

“Sport remains a priority for Council and particularly at this time Elected Members value the significant contribution that all sporting organisations make to the wider health and wellbeing of participants, spectators and volunteers.

“As a Council we hopeful that things will have improved significantly and we look forward to hosting the Awards in 2022 so that we can celebrate the wealth of talent that exists within our Borough.”

When the matter was discussed at a Council meeting, Councillor Keith Turner had suggested that if it came to pass that the awards could not be held at a dinner they could be done online or with the mayor presenting awards outside the homes of winners.

Councillor Matthew Armstrong said there was uncertainty at the moment and said the event required quite a bit of money.

He agreed sporting achievements needed to be recognised but thought it might be better having a review at the end of the year.

Deferring the awards may be the way forward, he said.

Alderman Billy  Ashe said as many sports had not taken place this year he suggested deferring the awards.

He said recognising sporting achievements was good for everyone but “some sort of limited gesture” was not the way to go.

Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna said the sports awards were always an excellent night but said “the most important thing is we have to keep safe”.

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