(ISN) – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has opened nominations for the prestigious 2015 Paralympic Sport Awards that will recognise achievements from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.
The awards, which are presented in partnership with Allianz and have been awarded every two years since 2005, recognise excellence in five categories: best male athlete, best female athlete, best team performance, best Paralympic Games debut and exemplary Paralympic Games official.
Previous winners of the awards include Great Britain’s David Weir and Australia’s Matthew Cowdrey in the Best Male category and Canada’s Chantal Petitclerc and the Netherlands’ Esther Vergeer in Best Female.
In 2011 the awards celebrated the achievements from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with the best male and best female awards going to German athletes. Gerd Schoenfelder, a winner of four golds and a silver medal in Vancouver in men’s alpine skiing standing, won best male, whilst his teammate Verena Bentele won best female after claiming three golds in cross-country skiing and two in biathlon visually impaired events.
Japan, who finished surprise silver medallists in ice sledge hockey in 2010, picked up best team whilst Ukraine’s Oleksandra Kononova was awarded best Games debut after winning three golds and a silver in Nordic Skiing.
All members of the International Paralympic Committee including National Paralympic Committees, Regional Paralympic Committees, International Federations and International Organisations of Sports for the Disabled are eligible to nominate athletes and officials.
Each organisation is entitled to submit one nomination per category and the closing date for entries is Friday 27 February 2015 at 12:00 CET.
An awards committee will select the winners and the awards will be presented at a glittering awards ceremony in November 2015.