A number of students from UCFB Etihad Campus recently attended the 2017 Manchester Sports Awards, and were able to meet extraordinary individuals from in and around the city. Here, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student Rebecca Hawksworth gives her take on a memorable evening…

Last month, myself and eight other UCFB students had the pleasure of being invited to represent the institution at the 2017 Manchester Sports Awards, which took place at the Hilton Hotel in Deansgate.

Hosted by former European and Commonwealth Games champion Iwan Thomas and fellow athlete Jenny Meadows, the night was an annual showcase to praise the unsung heroes from around the City of Manchester.

The gala, which saw a dress code of suits and cocktail dresses, was a night full of enjoyment and attended by around 400 people from in and around Manchester. There were attendees from all walks of life and different backgrounds but we all had one thing in common – a huge passion for sport.

Before the awards ceremony began we were all treated to a spectacular three course meal where we were served up a smoked haddock tart for starter, followed by a roast dinner and then a strawberry charlotte for dessert, as we were given the opportunity to chat with the other guests and hear their stories.

One of the guests that I had the pleasure of speaking to was a 17-year-old who was an ambassador for the Diane Modahl Foundation, a charity that works with young people from disadvantaged areas across the North West of England and helps to provide them with the opportunities to take part in and enjoy sport.

The fantastic event saw people from such a wide variety of different sports come together; from football and athletics, to martial arts and roller skating. There were even some high profile sports stars in attendance too such as Tessel Middag, the Manchester City and Dutch national team women’s footballer.

The night saw several awards given throughout its duration, with some truly inspiring tales being told by some of the nominees. The sheer number of nominees who dedicated their free time to volunteering within the community was unbelievable – the lengths they had gone to promote lower level sport within Manchester and encourage participation from people, including those who are less able, was overwhelming.

Having a strong passion for sport myself and dedicating a lot of my time to ensuring that I become a success in the industry after graduation, it was a huge privilege to be asked to attend the event and bask in the sporting success of others. To be immersed amongst such inspirational people who themselves have overcome great hurdles in order to help others within Manchester was a great honour.