The achievements of two community sports stars were recognised at the town’s International Men’s Day event on the Market Square this Saturday (17 November).

Robert Allen and Owen Poachin received the Male Role Model of the Year and Young Male Role Model of the Year awards respectively, from the Mayor of Northampton, Councillor Tony Ansell, during the health awareness event.

Robert was nominated and selected as the winner of the Male Role Model of the Year Award for his work in the community, setting up Sands United. Sands United is a community football club which brings together dads that have lost babies at birth or through miscarriage. As well as developing a support network for the affected dads, the club has also raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Owen was nominated and selected at the winner of the Young Male Role Model of the Year Award for his work with Northampton Street Sports. After enjoying the sports sessions, Owen became a Peer Champion, helping to run and even lead the sports sessions himself. Over the past six years, Owen has undertaken more than 190 hours of voluntary work for Northampton Street Sports and, more recently, he has completed level one in football coaching with the FA, paving the way for him to become an established sport coach.

This is the first year of the Male Role Model of the Year Awards which aim to recognise the important contributions local men and boys make in their community, families, schools and workplace. The two winners, Robert and Owen, were selected from 40 nominations.

The awards were presented half way through the men’s health awareness event which also featured stalls from local health and support organisations, fitness challenges and health check with Northampton Leisure Trust, boxing demonstrations and music from Northampton Male Voice Choir.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We are pleased to have received so many nominations for the Male Role Model of the Year Awards, during its first year.

“I want to thank the judging panel for assisting me with the difficult task of shortlisting the nominations. All the nominees were extremely deserving but the panel was especially impressed by the widespread impact that Robert and Owen’s efforts have had on the community.

“Thanks to everyone who came by the Market Square to get involved in our activities for International Men’s Day and support our Male Role Model Award winners. Hopefully we will see you all again next November.”