SPORTING heroes from South Lakeland and beyond will converge on Windermere to celebrate their excellence in a glittering ceremony.

Nominations have opened to find the award winners for this year’s prestigious Cumbria Sports Awards, which takes place on Friday, November 23, at the Low Wood Hotel.

Last year the county’s top sporting honour of Cumbria Sports Personality of the Year went to Ben Stokes, 20-year-old Durham all-rounder from Cockermouth who made his maiden England appearance in a one-day international against Ireland following a highly successful debut season for his club.

Closer to home Askam youngster Emily Bolton, a pupil at Dowdales School, in Dalton-in-Furness, won one of the Cumbria Rising Star of the Year awards.

Ben said: "Winning this award last year was a great surprise and it brought what was a successful year in cricket to a brilliant end. It has been a great year for sport in 2012."

The event recognises the talents, commitment and successes of teams and individuals throughout Cumbria who are involved in sport. The awards also highlight the dedication and commitment of the vast number of volunteers who make sport happen across the county.

Alan Bell, IAAF International official and chief starter at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the special guest speaker at the event.

Awards organisers Active Cumbria are asking Cumbrian sports fans to submit their nominations for 12 categories recognising various levels of sporting success, in addition to the support services of volunteering, administration and coaching.

Richard Johnston, partnership manager at Active Cumbria, said: “With a history of recognising sporting achievement in Cumbria for more than 28 years, Cumbria Sports Awards judging panel are never ceased to be amazed at the wealth of sporting talent here in our county.

“This is an opportunity to recognise anyone who you feel has achieved great things locally or who has made a huge voluntary contribution to sport in Cumbria during 2012.”

The deadline for nominations is Friday October 19, and to cast your vote go to