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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Local businesses pick up prestigious trophies at Health and Fitness Awards

Nutritionist of the Year, Sarah Lacey: Michelle Ferris-Hughes (right) from event partner Linwoods, presents Sarah Lacey with the award for Nutritionist / Dietitian Of The Year at the 2022 NI Health and Fitness Awards.

Three individuals and businesses in Portglenone and Ballymena have picked up awards at the recent NI Health and Fitness Awards.


Sarah Lacey from Portglenone who runs Nourish and Nurture NI won the Nutritionist / Dietitian of the Year, while in Ballymena, Lifestyle Fitness won the Best Large Gym Award and Pure Wellness Gym’s team took home the Gym Team of the Year Award.


Over 400 gym owners, personal trainers and fitness professionals gathered at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in South Belfast where business and individuals were awarded through various categories, including Health & Fitness Service of the Year, Breakthrough Personal Trainer, Gym Team of the Year and Community Engagement of the Year.


Best Large Gym, Lifestyle Fitness Ballymena: Laura Jo from event partner Gym Plus Coffee presents the team from Lifestyle Fitness Ballymena with the trophy for Best Large Gym at the 2022 NI Health and Fitness Awards.

Billy Murray was awarded the top award of the night, Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, nominated by the judging panel who said:

“For the past 30 years, Billy Murray has been providing a place of sanctuary for hundreds of people, young and old, throughout the community, which is more than a gym or a place to get fit. They’ve gained confidence and purpose, and have had the chance to learn and grow through Billy’s grit and determination.”


Other winners on the night included Bodyfit Mums in Portadown for the Innovation Award, Bubba Ali of Bubba’s Project Gym for Covid Champion / Lockdown Legend and Slim’s Healthy Kitchen for Healthy Food Provider of the Year, while Young Lives Vs Cancer took home the Community Engagement award.


The judging panel was made up of Coach and online fitness expert Ian Young; diabetic muscle and fitness author, podcaster and educator, Phil Graham; SAS: Who Dares Wins winner and Fit ID co-founder, Connor Smyth; former Irish Rugby Union player, Stephen Ferris and best-selling author and fitness influencer Maeve Madden, who also took care of hosting duties alongside Q Radio’s Ibe Sesay.


Gym Team of the Year, Pure Wellness Gym: SAS Who Dares Wins winner and Health Fitness Awards judge, Connor Smyth (right) presents the team from Pure Wellness Gym with their trophy for Gym Team Of The Year at the 2022 NI Health and Fitness Awards.

In a nod to the industry’s tenacity in surviving the past two years, moving classes online and ensuring their gyms were safe according to regulations and restrictions, organisers brought the awards back with a special Covid Champion / Lockdown Legend Award, which was won by Bubba Ali of Bubba’s Project Gym in Armagh.


Ian Young, who has been on the judging panel of the Awards since 2018 said:

“The calibre of winners this year has been absolutely outstanding, we have brought back the Health and Fitness Awards with a bang. we have a collection of inspired, trusted and motivated individuals and teams who are pushing the boundaries of the industry here. They are meeting challenges head on, they are innovating and they are inspiring a whole new level of health and fitness goals to make well-balanced lives more accessible to all.


“I am particularly proud of Billy Murray picking up the Outstanding Contribution the Industry Award. He has tirelessly provided a safe place in east Belfast for young people to come and learn so much more than kick boxing and fitness, and his new facility will just continue that legacy for years to come. Well done to all the highly commended and winning businesses and individuals on the night, I’m very proud of our industry!”


The 2022 Health and Fitness Awards are supported by media partner, Q Radio, and event partners CleanCo, Quorn Foods, Linwoods, Fibrus, Crowne Plaza, Belfast, Meaghers Pharmacy, Symprove, Design NI, Polished London, Gym Plus Coffee and event organisers and founders, Weir Events.


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