Salute to our sports stars

THE Comet s prestigious sports awards are being launched this week. And what a year it has been for the sporting stars from Comet country. Stevenage born and bred Lewis Hamilton is on the cusp of becoming Formula One world champion, Ian Poulter made the E

THE Comet's prestigious sports awards are being launched this week.

And what a year it has been for the sporting stars from Comet country.

Stevenage born and bred Lewis Hamilton is on the cusp of becoming Formula One world champion, Ian Poulter made the European team for the Ryder Cup and Stotfold cyclist Victoria Pendleton won Olympic gold.

The annual sports awards, now in their sixth year, are again being held at Plinston in Letchworth Garden City.

Run in association with the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, nominations are now wanted.

The awards will feature a dozen categories as usual with various individual, team, club and school awards.

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Paralympian Paul Pearce will again be honoured at this year's awards.

The Disability Award at this year's event is again named in honour of the partially sighted runner who died tragically while out running in February 2006.

As well as main sponsors Letchworth GC Heritage Foundation, other sponsors already on board include MBDA and Opus International Consultants.

Following the success of the five previous years, The Comet is asking readers to nominate the sporting stars and worthy winners in Comet country.

All ages, all standards and both sexes are sure to be honoured at this year's awards ceremony.

The categories requiring entries are listed below:

* Sports Personality of the Year;

* Team of the Year;

* Service to Sport;

* Coach of the Year;

* Club of the Year;

* Youth Achievement, Boys (under-18);

* Youth Achievement, Girls (under-18);

* Veteran Achievement (over-50);

* The Paul Pearce Disability Award;

* Youth Team of the Year (under-18);

* School of the Year;

* Schools' Unsung Hero.

All entries MUST be on official Comet forms and should include a recent photograph of the nominated team, school or individual. They will not be accepted otherwise.

The three finalists for each of the dozen categories will be highlighted in The Comet before Christmas.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, January 22, 2009.

Prize winners at last year's awards included Lewis Hamilton, young gymnasts Andrew Henry and Mollie Smith, local football legend Jim Briscoe and Stevenage Boro's FA Trophy winners at Wembley.

The night is once more set to be hosted by David Croft from Radio Five Live.

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