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Leeds Sports Awards 2023

Leeds Sports Awards 2023

Words by
Sarah Towns

Its game on for the impeding Leeds Sports Awards and we take a little look from the side lines at this headline annual event in the city.

2023 marks the 20th year of this staple on the city’s social calendar, which celebrates Leeds’ sporting prowess and plays a major role in raising awareness of sport and active recreation across the city.

During that time, the awards have grown from a small “invite only” event for 100 people to a sit-down dinner for 900, running every year despite being knocked off course by “The Beast from The East” in 2018, postponing it by 10 days and broadcasting live on Leeds TV in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. This prestigious ceremony has made its home at various landmark venues – among them The Centenary Pavilion at Leeds United, first direct Arena and its most current location New Dock Hall.

Sport Leeds are the proud hosts of the awards, representing organisations across the city with an interest in the provision and development of sport and active recreation – that includes professional and amateur sports clubs, universities, colleges and schools’ clusters as well as other key sporting agencies from the city, region and beyond.

The sports awards give the community of Leeds the opportunity to nominate their heroes. That can be a medallist, favourite team, local community superstar, an inspirational sports teacher or a long-serving volunteer or official at a local club.

The awards are not just about recognising those world-class and more well-known athletes (though they do get a look in) but acknowledge all the hard work and commitment which happens at grass roots, celebrating committed volunteers and administrators, inspiring and talented sporting individuals and teams from settings across the city as well as inspirational community champions – those who have engaged and support their local community through sport, physical activity and wellbeing.

The award categories ranging from sportsman and woman, disabled sportsperson and performance coach to community and inclusivity champions and active schools ensure that athletes of all ages and levels receive recognition along with some of the unsung heroes while also marking the success achieved in so many different areas of sport in the city.

Sharing that spotlight has been a few well-known faces over the years – with some of the most memorable winners of the Sporting Pride of Leeds Award including Nicola Adams OBE, Jamie Jones-Buchanan MBE, Kevin Sinfield OBE, and the most recent recipient of 2022 Rob Burrow MBE.

Providing inspiration to budding young athletes is just as important to the organisers as celebrating sporting success with all finalists invited along to attend and tickets competitively priced for young individuals and teams, aiming to make the awards more accessible.

The 20th Leeds Sports Awards, organised by Sport Leeds and supported by Leeds City Council and Leeds Beckett University, take place at New Dock Hall on Thursday 16th March 2023.


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