Former Olympic athlete to present Burnley Community Sports Awards

World record holder and gold medal-winning athlete Steve Backley is the latest in a line of top sports stars to present the annual Burnley Community Sports Awards.
Steve BackleySteve Backley
Steve Backley

The annual celebration of local sports talent will be held on Thursday, July 18th, at Burnley Mechanics Theatre.

The awards recognise the contribution and achievements of the borough’s individuals, teams, clubs and organisations across a number of categories.

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Nominations for this year’s finalists have opened and will run until April 30th.

To nominate visit or contact Michelle Grimes on 01282 477167.

The awards are run by Burnley Leisure in partnership with Burnley Council.

Organisers are also keen to hear from anyone willing to sponsor one or more of the award categories.

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Michelle Grimes, of Burnley Leisure, said: “Once again we are thrilled to have secured an inspirational sport-person to host this year’s event which allows us to recognise and reward all the hard work local people and clubs dedicate to sport and physical activity in the town.

“We encourage people to nominate anyone they feel deserves recognition for their contribution to local sport and physical activity.”

Coun. John Harbour, the council’s executive member for housing and leisure, said: “Burnley Community Sports Awards are a wonderful way of recognising the efforts and achievements of the borough’s sports stars, young and old, and the people and organisations that support them.

“We want to encourage as many people as possible, particularly younger people, to take up sport and activity, go out there and simply have a great time. Not everyone can be as successful as Steve Backley but that’s not the point; the aim is to get more people more active and have a great time.”

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After achieving seven gold medals, three world records, two Olympic silver medals and one bronze, Steve finally hung up his javelin at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

For more than a decade, Steve was one of Britain’s most consistent and popular athletes and established himself as one of the all-time greats of his sport. A constant member of the British athletics team, standing on podiums and setting world records, Steve is the only British track and field competitor to win medals at three different Olympic Games – Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney.

He was awarded an MBE in 1995 after winning European and Commonwealth Gold the previous summer. In 2002, he was awarded the OBE after being the first British athlete to successfully win four consecutive European Championship titles.

Since retirement from professional sport, Steve has pursued a number of business activities. He is author of three inspirational books and has more than eight years’ experience as a corporate speaker.

He is a familiar face presenting athletics coverage on the BBC and runs a training business with fellow Olympian Roger Black, as well as being involved with several charities including SportsAid.