TWO of North Antrim’s major sporting awards ceremonies will not take place this year.
The Ballymoney and Moyle Times North Antrim Awards, traditionally held at Lissanoure Castle, Loughgiel, has been postponed and will take place at a later date.
And the Moyle Sports Awards, organised by Moyle Sports Advisory Committee, will now take place every two years.
Organisers say the North Antrim event has been the victim of the credit crunch.
Sports Editor, Chris Kilpatrick, revealed that sponsorship had become an issue and that was the main reason for the postponement.
“We know a lot of people felt the Awards was one of the best in the country. It attracted almost 400 people and a large number recognised it as the best outside Belfast,” Mr. Kilpatrick said.
He added: “We don’t get any public funding and that makes it harder, but we fully intend to run them again.”
Mr. Kilpatrick said it was unfair to seek money from local businesses at this particular time given the financial constraints on many .
He said the support and commitment from businesses such as Complete Gyms, Basil Knipe Electrics, Trolans SuperValu, Roadside Garages, the First Trust Bank and others had
Since its inception in 2008 the North Antrim Sports Awards have been a roaring success, hailed by many as one of the best of its kind throughout the province.
Times Editor, Lyle McMullan, said he was disappointed at the decision which was taken after some long consideration.
“We are indebted to those who sponsored us in the past and we have no doubt they will support us again,” he said.
The Times had a number of top speakers and guests each year to officially recognise the cream of our sporting talent in north Antrim.
Guests in the past have included the then Sports Minister, Gregory Campbell, and the popular sports presenter, Joel Taggart, regularly hosted the proceedings.
Both he and last year’s Mayor, Councillor Bill Kennedy, praised the professionalism of the event and said it was undoubtedly the best outside Belfast.
The awards are set to return in 2012 and are certain to be bigger and better than ever!
Commenting on the Moyle postponement, Tom Christie, chair of the Moyle Sports Advisory Committee, said the decision to hold the event every two years had been discussed by members and agreed.
“Of course, there’ll be disappointment, but holding this every two years will certainly boost interest and increase the incentive to win an award,” he added.