All of us who take part in regular grassroots sporting activity know very well the value of those contributions from folk who give up their free time to help us enjoy sport. The 2017 BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero awards is widening its search to increase their capacity to recognise these heroic and inspiring volunteers.
Now in its 15th year, the Unsung Hero awards have not only lowered the entry threshold to age 16 but also expanded beyond clubs in the more traditional sports – football, cricket, archery, netball, hockey etc – to those involved in other fitness activities.
Recognising even more of our unsung heroes
Traditionally the awards have recognised coaches, young starlets and others who muck in at sports clubs – perhaps people who make the sandwiches, wash the kit and other unglamorous aspects of grassroots sport. But this year’s expansion is open to other unsung heroes – it might be the person devoting tons of free time to running your club’s social media accounts, the fitness instructor at the front of the class, or the steward at your local group run. All of these people are vital to the running and growth of our sports clubs and sporting activity, and they should be recognised.
A Well-Earned Night in the limelight
So the BBC are looking for your nominations – think of that person who’s always having a laugh, always cajoling, and always there – devoting their spare time purely for the love of it. Every club and every class has these people and it’s time they were rewarded. Their reward will include a night at the famous BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, for once basking in the limelight on the red carpet and rubbing shoulders with the British sporting elite.
It doesn’t matter if they’ve been nominated before – provided they didn’t win you can nominate them again.
From your nominations, and with the help of a panel of people with local knowledge, a shortlist will be put together and a regional winner announced. Fifteen winners – one from each region – then go forward into the national award, where a panel of sports people and BBC types consider the cases of each unsung hero, have a debate and settle on a winner.
Nominations are now open and you can nominate your inspiring volunteer between now and the deadline – 23:59pm on Sunday, 22 October 2017. You can apply by filling in the online form.
Grassroots sport needs its unsung heroes. Do your bit, show how much volunteers means to you and your sport, and get nominating now!
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