Former Manchester Thunder coach and current England manager Tracey Neville is the latest inductee into the City of Champions Hall of Fame in Manchester.
Neville will accompany double gold Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes as a guest of honour at a star-studded gala dinner at Manchester’s Hotel Football on Saturday February 6.
The sporting inspirations will be inducted by Manchester born Commonwealth gold medallist Diane Modahl on behalf of the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation (DMSF).
Neville’s successful career lead her to compete in the Commonwealth Games twice, to setting up the Tracey Neville Netball academy, coaching Manchester Thunder and now she has earned herself the role as England netball head coach.
Speaking of her invitation to join the hall of fame, the 38-year-old MBE could not hide her delight and pledged her full support to help fulfil the aims of the charity.
“I am over the moon that I have been invited to join such inspirational athletes in the Hall of Fame – I can’t wait to raise as much money for DMSF as possible,” she said.
“The charity supports young people in Bury, my home town where I was born and bred and I am looking forward to meeting the talented youngsters and up and coming sports stars of the future.
“Manchester is the home of so many inspiring Olympians and sporting icons, including Diane herself, and it holds a special place in my heart – it’s a truly fantastic city.”
DMSF, set up by former 800-metre runner Modahl, aims to give young people access to world class coaching and coaches, with the long-term goal of shaping further champions of the future.
The initiative is not sport-specific, with other fields such as business, culture and politics being covered by the DMSF, which is especially committed to working with young people and schools in disadvantages areas.
The City of Champions event, founded by Modahl, is a bi-annual celebration of the many great champions who have made a huge difference to local areas and inspired the people within them.
Commenting on the event, 49-year-old Modahl expressed her gratitude to the England netball coach for accepting the award and believes her acceptance is a fantastic step for the charity.
“I am so excited about our upcoming event and can’t thank Tracey enough for accepting her place in the City of Champions Hall of Fame,” she said.
“Tracey is an inspiration to our youngsters as she was playing netball at country level by the age of 14 – her dedication to netball is second to none.
“Her involvement in the DMSF is fantastic news for the charity as our ethos is to inspire young people in all aspects of their lives.”
Neville and with her fellow winners will be presented with their awards on the night and will also take part in an exclusive Q&A session.
The evening will be compared by BBC Sports Presenter Dan Walker and will include a charity auction of items signed by sporting legends who have donated personal articles to raise money for the worthwhile cause.
Previous recipients from the sporting world include Britain’s most successful Olympic athlete of all time, Sir Chris Hoy, along with Premier League winner and England footballer Rio Ferdinand.
Inductees from other areas include leaders of Manchester City Council such as Sir Howard Bernstein, renowned for his backing of the Metrolink as well as the creation of Sportcity.
Sir Richard Leese, Labour politician and leader of Manchester City Council from 1996 has also been a recipient of the award following his monumental impact on the city after the 1996 bombing which also handed him a knighthood by the Queen in 2006.
Tickets are now available for this year’s dinner, which will feature numerous famous faces including soap stars, iconic sport stars and business people.
Prices start at £1000+VAT for a table of ten and single tickets are available for £125+VAT – further information is available from [email protected].
Image courtesy of Manchester Thunder TV via YouTube, with thanks.