Cavendish heads the list of male nominations

By John Watterson in

The shortlist for the 2016 Isle of Man Sports Awards, sponsored by Isle of Man Bank, has been announced today.

The event will take place on Wednesday, March 22 at the Royal Hall, Villa Marina.

The Sportsman of the Year award sees last year’s winner, Tim Kneale, facing competition from Olympic silver medallist Mark Cavendish, golfing star Tom Gandy, rally driver David Higgins, enduro ace Daniel McCanney and Team Sky cyclist Peter Kennaugh.

The Sportswomen of the Year award is one of the most open categories for a number years and features cycling duo Anna Christian and Lizzie Holden as well as former under-21 winner Charlotte Atkinson and Isle of Man hockey captain Kim Carney.

The category will also be contested by equestrian rider Yasmin Ingham and field archer Lesley Sleight.

The ambassador category again includes 2016 Olympians Cavendish and Kneale, together with MotoGP ace Cal Crutchlow, World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea, TT star Conor Cummins and four-wheel TT lap record holder Mark Higgins.

Other categories are under-21 sportsman and woman, team, coach, sports administrator, veteran sportsperson and disability sportsperson.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by the Sports Awards committee and there is no shortlist for this category.

Gary Corkhill, Isle of Man Sport’s executive chairman, commented: ’Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the number of nominations sent into us by the public.

’Nominations opened in late December and the response we’ve had demonstrates how much the public like engaging with the event. The shortlisting process seems to get more difficult each year due to the increased success of the Manx athletes.

’The island has so many sporting success stories and the Sports Awards is a great occasion where we bring together the Isle of Man’s sporting family to celebrate their achievements. This year’s nominees are an inspiration to those within their respective sports. The awards recognise the island’s high-level performers and highlight their success on the world stage.’

The event also includes the presentation of the 2016 Sure Sports Leader of the Year Award and Sports Aid scholarships to athletes who will be supported by Isle of Man Sport Aid in 2017-2018.

Guest of honour at the awards is 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning hockey player, Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE.

The event starts at 8.15pm. Tickets are available to book online via the Villa Gaiety box office www.villagaiety.com

l See today’s Manx Independent for a full shortlist of all the nominated individuals and teams.

l See today’s Manx Independent for a full shortlist of all the nominated individuals and teams.

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