Believe Sports Awards 2018

On October 12th, Inspiring healthy lifestyles hosted the 18th annual Believe Sports Awards at the DW Stadium Sports and Fitness Lounge to recognise the rising sporting achievers and hard-working sports organisations in the Wigan Borough. The event was sponsored by Wigan Council and 10 other category sponsors: BigWave Media, Technogym, Agilisys, F Parkinson Ltd, Debit Finance Collections, Alliance Leisure, NPS Group, Link Contracting, Wigan Warriors Community Foundation and Wigan Athletic Community Trust.


A total of 135 nominations were received over the 11 categories which this year included the new Deal For Communities Project of the Year Award.

Guest speakers included Taekwondo World Champion Mahama Cho, Gareth Cross Chair of Inspiring healthy lifestyles Board of Trustees and Director of Public Health for Wigan Council Professor Kate Ardern.


Some of the latest successful applicants for the borough’s Believe Talent Fund also took to the stage for recognition on the evening. Ten young sport stars received up to £500 each from the Believe Talent Fund (part of Wigan Council’s Deal for Communities Investment Fund) to help them pay for travel, accommodation, competitions or training fees and equipment to compete nationally.

More than 300 guests attended the ceremony to applaud the winners, who this year included:

The Categories 

Coach of the Year

Sponsored by Link Contracting


Danielle Knowles Head Coach of Wigan Vipers Cheer and Dance


When she started at the club in 2015, she had only 10 members in her classes. Now she trains over 50 competitive cheerleaders up to level 3 in cheerleading, tumbling and dance.

Club of the Year

Sponsored by Bigwave Media


Astley & Tyldesley Cycling Club


Astley & Tyldesley Cycling Club has over 110 members. The club has its own race track and facilities, which is maintained by the club and its members, and caters for all ages from 3 to 75 years old.


Sports Achiever of the Year

Sponsored by DFC

Keely Hodgkinson – Leigh Harriers Cross Country Club


Keely represented GB at the U18 European champs in Gyor, Hungary in the 800m where she won Gold to become U18 European champion and broke the championship record in the process.


She is competing at international level having represented England in a home nations Cross Country meet - finishing 4th overall & winning team gold for England.


Disabled Sports Achiever of the Year

Sponsored by Agilisys

Anya Butterworth, Garett Hall Primary School


Anya competes for the Dwarf Sports Association UK in Football, Swimming, Basketball, Badminton, Track & Field and Boccia.

She competed in the 2017 DSA World Games in Canada with 22 countries taking part. Anya captained the GB Football team to a Gold Medal and in total Anya won 9 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medals.


Volunteer of the Year

Sponsored by Wigan Athletic Community Trust

David Clarke


David volunteers as a peer mentor at weekly Wheels for All and disability dance sessions. He was previously a participant at these sessions and now is positively influencing other young people with disabilities to take part.


This year David has given over 1000 hours to volunteering, volunteering 6 days a week.


The Wilf Brogan Unsung Hero Award

Sponsored by F Parkinson Ltd

Kath Pilkington – Vogue Morris Dancers


Kath has ran Vogue Morris Dancers for over 40 years. She has taught girls from 3-40yrs to become champion dancers winning endless medals and trophies.

Changing Lifestyle Recognition Award

Sponsored by Technogym

Sally Skellern


A police officer by profession, Sally has endured an array of injuries through her work leading to lengthy operations and procedures which have caused extreme weakness in her body. She was prescribed 20 tablets a day to manage her pain. After gaining weight as a result, she joined the gym at Howe Bridge.

Team of the Year

 Sponsored by Wigan Warriors Community Foundation

Hawks Intensity Diamonds Cheer and Dance


Since this team was created 3 years ago they have committed themselves to training up to three nights per week, every week.

In the last 12 months the team have climbed the rankings to reach 2nd place in the UK. This earned them a qualifying bid to compete at the Cheerleading & Dance World Championships in Florida in April 2018 and placed 13th from 31 teams.

The Martin Lynn School Commitment to PE and Sport

Sponsored by Alliance Leisure

St George’s Central Primary School


The school has been involved in over 35 inter-school sporting competitions, providing 260 opportunities for over 3000 children to take part in competitive sporting events and has strong links with 30 local sports

Sports Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by NPS

Thomas Little - Wigan Athletic Community Trust


Tom’s role involves assisting the delivery of high quality PE and sports coaching in local schools, soccer camps and community-based football events. He has also supported new apprentices and provided a pathway for others to contribute to local sport.

The Deal Community Programme of the Year

Sponsored by Wigan Council

Bowl and Plate – Garswood Hall Bowling and Community Club


Bowl and Plate started in April 2017 and runs for three hours each Friday. The project is now attended by up to 75 people each week.

They welcome and integrate the entire range of the Borough’s residents, catering for individuals with mental health problems, the bereaved and those with poor health.


Sponsorship Opportunities

Our ‘Believe Sports Awards’ would not be possible without the backing of our sponsors!

We have an amazing sponsorship package available for business and organisations who would like to support the event.

Promote your business, reach new customers and contribute to making a difference to the local community.

For more information download our sponsorship packages information or contact Katie Eastwood at or call 01942 488495

About Believe Sports Awards

The event rewards and recognises the work of voluntary sector coaches, clubs and volunteers, as well as celebrating the achievements of local athletes.

Category winners (except Team of the Year and Sports Apprentice of the Year) go forward to represent Wigan Borough at the Greater Manchester Sports Awards.


Nominees at 2017 Believe Sports Awards