The Hughes Insurance Sports Volunteer Awards, a national awards programme recognising the unsung heroes of local sport in communities across Northern Ireland, has announced 12 regional winners from across the province.
Hundreds of volunteers from all sports were nominated with the Coleraine Sports Volunteer Award going to Robert Downes. Robert was chosen as the Hughes Insurance Coleraine Regional Winner for his work with Bann Wheelers Cycling Club in association with RNIB Tandem Club.
Robert established a tandem cycling group for blind and partially sighted people living in the area in association with the RNIB/Blind Centre. The impact Robert has had on blind and partially sighted people has been inspiring – he has dramatically improved their health and well being through cycling and exercise.
Robert even arranged a cycling trip to Portugal this year for the group allowing them to travel and cycle abroad for the first time.
The aim of the awards was to unearth the true sporting heroes in our communities and were judged by an independent judging panel. Twelve regional winners were selected across all the Hughes branches with each winner being awarded £200 for themselves along with £500 for their club and a bespoke trophy.
Jonathan Robinson said: “There is some fantastic work being done by sports volunteers in our community and we want to thank everyone who took the time to nominate people they know doing some fantastic volunteer work. We are delighted to announce Robert as our winner for his work with the Bann Wheelers Cycling Club and give him the recognition he deserves.”
All 12 branch winners now go forward to the Northern Ireland finals and the chance to win the Overall Sports Volunteer Award title.