A number of health and fitness professionals from east Antrim are in the running for accolades at a prestigious awards ceremony next month. Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council staff member Janice McConnell has been shortlisted in the Nutritionist/Dietitian of the Year category at the Northern Ireland Health and Fitness Awards, sponsored by Centra. Meanwhile, Newtownabbey personal trainer Ben Mudge is up for Health and Fitness Blogger/Influencer of the Year. Carrickfergus personal trainer Tash Bamford from Tash PT is one of the contenders for Female Personal Trainer of the Year, while Larne gym manager Andrew Falconer from Just Active is in the running for Gym Manager of the Year. Over 200 entries were received and independently judged by a highly experienced panel from the health and fitness industry made up of former Ulster, Ireland and British Lions rugby star Stephen Ferris; Centra Ambassador and leading Northern Ireland nutritionist Jane McClenaghan; leading personal trainer Ian Young; fitness blogger Aly Harte, and Sunday Life Editor Martin Breen. The awards comprise of 15 categories to recognise the outstanding achievements of the local health and fitness industry including Gym of the Year, Personal Trainer of the Year, Best Corporate Wellness Programme, Retailer of the Year, and Healthy Food Outlet of the Year. Winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by former Emmerdale actress, Strictly Come Dancing star and health and fitness enthusiast, Gemma Atkinson and Q Radio’s Ninja Warrior Ibe Sesay on Saturday, September 22 in the Crowne Plaza Belfast.