COUNCILLOR Catherine Preston believes Bury can be proud of its sporting heroes after handing out prizes at the town's sports awards.

The deputy cabinet member for health and wellbeing was speaking at the prizegiving ceremony at Bury Town Hall last Wednesday, where 90 nominees from local sporting community were whittled down to winners in nine categories.

Those winners, which included community club of the year Street Shakers Dance and Fitness and coach of the year Iain Collier, of Brooksbottom Cricket Club, will go forwards to represent the town in the Greater Manchester Sports Awards at The Point, Emirates Stadium next Friday.

Cllr Preston said: “The annual awards are a fantastic occasion to celebrate the huge amount of sporting talent we have in Bury.

“The nominations this year were outstanding, and the winners thoroughly deserve this recognition.

"We can all be incredibly proud of them; they are a credit to themselves, their clubs and to our borough, and I wish them the very best of luck at the Greater Manchester awards.”

Paralympic gold medal-winning swimmer Claire Cashmore was kept busy on the night, handing out the honours alongside Cllr Preston in the Elizabethan Suite.

The nine winners

Coach of the year: Iain Collier – A senior cricket coach with Brooksbottom juniors for the past four years, Collier has focused on reducing the barriers to the sport with an ethos of enjoyment for all while also helping to develop other coaches at the club.

Community club of the year: Street Shakers Dance and Fitness – The club has supported a number of projects in the borough, including Satellite Clubs, I Will If You Will and Sportivate.

Volunteer of the year: Lucia Cronin – She has championed the British Cycling Breeze campaign in Bury, leading 114 Breeze rides over the past two years and helping more than 300 local women get into cycling.

I Will If You Will sporting female award: Danielle (Dee) Collins – The teenager has scored more than 1,000 runs in all forms of cricket over the season. She was a prominent member of the Lancashire U17s side and was picked to play at the National School Games, as well as figuring in the Tottington St Johns first and second teams and their successful women's side.

Unsung hero award: Michael Maguire – The primary school teacher has dedicated the last decade to leading successful teams in football, cricket and athletics while also managing multi-school tournaments and competitions across the borough.

Sports achiever of the year: Jake Pope – The 13-year-old member of Ramsbottom Angling Association became the first young angler ever to retain the Angling Trust national junior title. He was also second in the under-18s section at the Whiteacre Junior Festival.

Disabled sports achiever of the year: Sidney Pritchard – The 74-year-old angina sufferer attended the five-week Guide Running sessions, organised in conjunction with Ramsbottom Running Club and Bury Blind Society, and went on to complete the Bury 10k.

Changing lifestyle recognition award: Marie Farnworth – Went from having a generally inactive lifestyle to becoming a champion for the Choose to Change programme, supporting her family and friends to make similar positive changes to their lifestyle.

School commitment to PE and sport: St Mary's Church of England Primary School – Achieved silver and bronze School Games Marks after putting £30,000 of Sport for All funding to good work. Also worked with local groups to provide free and inclusive sports development projects in the community.