Westwood and Ennis in line for new awards

A HOST of famous sporting names from the South Yorkshire region have been included on the shortlist for the inaugral MBNA Northern Sports Awards.

Worksop golfer Lee Westwood and Sheffield’s own heptathlon queen Jessica Ennis have been shortlisted for the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year category respectively, whilst Barnsley’s England Women cricketer Kathy Brunt is also in the running.

Toni Minichiello, who coaches World Champion heptathlete Ennis at the city’s English Institute of Sport, is a candidate in a strong ‘Manager of the Year’ category which also includes Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Westwood, who ended Tiger Woods’ reign as world number one last year, is up against footballers Vincent Kompany, of Manchester City, and Newcastle United’s Kevin Nolan.

Rotherham cyclist Ben Swift will go head-to-head with Yorkshire cricketers Jonathan Bairstow and Adam Lyth for the ‘breakthrough/newcomer of the year’ award. Yorkshire are also nominated for the ‘Team of the Year’ award.

The shortlists were compiled by a People’s Panel, which is made up of a group of sports journalists and broadcast personalities. Voting is now open for the awards, which will take place at Lancashire’s Old Trafford cricket ground on July 4. Voting, which closes at midnight on June 12, is available at www.northernsportsawards.co.uk/vote.