The prestigious charity event City of Champions 2016, which was held on Saturday 6 February, was a resounding success. BBC presenter Dan Walker expertly compered the evening’s events in a night that saw a variety of guests unite.
A whole host of well-known sporting stars, faces from the small screen and influential business figures enjoyed an evening together in aid of the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation (DMSF).
Former Olympian Diane Modahl founded the charity and its work involves giving young people, who are mainly from disadvantaged areas, access to world class coaching and mentoring with the aim of creating further champions of the future. Whether that is in the arena of sport, business, culture, politics or any other.
The star-studded gala celebrated the inductions of double gold Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes and England Netball Coach Tracey Neville MBE in to the Hall of Fame in Manchester. The event also took a surprise twist when Diane Modahl was inducted and honoured for her achievements, following a campaign by her daughter Imani.
Speaking at the event, Diane said, “I’m delighted with the success of tonight’s event, the shock of the surprise induction aside! So many of the sporting and business ambassadors spoke passionately about our work and the impact we have made on the lives of young people. There is no doubt that the city of Manchester is saturated with talented young people – all of whom are desperate for opportunities to develop their skills, resilience and to be given a chance to succeed. Yet for every young person we reach, thousands are still being missed”.
Diane also added “The highlight of the night for me was 12 year old Ben’s story, a young man who has been a participant in DMSF for 18 months demonstrating focus and a willingness to be the best he can be”.
Guests on the night included WBA Lightweight champion Anthony Crolla, rugby league legend Adrian Morley, former Salford Reds player and ex head coach of Italy Carlo Napolitano, Inline skating champion Jenna Downing and Bolton Wanderers legend Kevin Davies.
In addition to the sporting line-up, many famous faces from the small screen supported the foundation including former Coronation Street star Scott Wright and sports presenter Hugh Ferris.
Particular thanks go to event sponsors Kings Chambers and Nuffield Health, as well as DMSF’s longstanding sponsors Rethink Group, UKFast, KMPG, the PFA and Bruce MacLeod.
Previous City of Champions events have celebrated the inductions of cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and Manchester City legend Mike Summerbee.
TNT Sport Billy Rooney