THE South Wales Argus has a long and proud history of supporting sport in Gwent.

Today we take that support a step further by launching the inaugural South Wales Argus Sports Awards.

It is our aim to turn the spotlight on the region’s finest sportsmen and sportswomen, senior, junior and those with disabilities, and reward them for the hard work and dedication that success demands.

We are also fully aware that without the tireless efforts of volunteers and coaches, often the unsung heroes of sport, it would be impossible for many clubs and organisations to survive, let alone produce competitors of elite standard.

With this in mind, we have included categories for both volunteers and coaches to give them some well-deserved recognition.

South Wales Argus managing director Hussain Bayoomi said: “We are setting out to recognise the true heroes of local sport and to create an event which will be one of the highlights of the sporting calendar locally.

“Local sport can be the glue which holds our communities together, providing a foundation for health, fitness and teamwork.

“It can also be where we find sporting stars of the future.”

He added: “Recognising and honouring the achievements of the countless outstanding contributions to sport is an honour for the South Wales Argus.

“From the sportsperson who has excelled in whatever sport, to the hundreds of coaches who put in hour after hour, week after week to support them, and to the countless volunteers behind the scenes who make it all happen, we want to highlight them all.”

The awards will take place at the Newport Centre on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

The award categories are as follows:

  • Sports Personality of the Year

  • Professional Sports Personality of the Year

  • Grassroots/Non-League Sports Personality of the Year

  • Young Sports Personality of the Year

  • Senior Team of the Year

  • Junior Team of the Year

  • Community Club of the Year

  • Coach of the Year

  • Disability Sports Performer of the Year

  • Outstanding Services to Sport

  • Junior Coach of the Year

  • Volunteer of the Year

  • Dragons Player of the Year

  • Newport County AFC Player of the Year

For a full explanation of each category, and to vote, visit - voting closes at 5pm on Friday, January 19, 2018.