All of us with a connection to grassroots sport are only too aware that it could not exist without those who give up their free time to make it happen. The volunteers, the coaches, everybody who chips in in some way, shape or form are fundamental to its very existence – and this year, in the face of a global pandemic, those heroics have been brought into even sharper focus.  The BBC Sports Personality of the Year’s Unsung Hero award returns for 2020 to celebrate those volunteers who help grassroots sports and other physical activities take place, and this is your chance to nominate your own unsung hero.

Now in its 18th year, Unsung Hero 2020 is searching for “volunteers whose efforts have meant sports clubs have made a positive impact in local communities during an unprecedented year”. It is vitally important that we keep our volunteers invested and incentivised, and what better way to do that than by showing our appreciation and giving them the chance to enjoy a moment in the spotlight.


So this is your chance to shine a light on those making a difference to you and your club. It might be the person dedicating free time to running your club’s social media pages keeping everyone up to speed in an ever-changing lockdown landscape, the coach who organised socially-distanced training sessions, or the poor soul lumbered with the dreaded treasurer’s job. All of these people, and so many others, are critical to the smooth running of our sports clubs and it is right that they are recognised.

Captain Tom – the young unsung hero

This year sees a new addition. The Captain Tom: Young Unsung Hero award will be up for grabs for one young volunteer (under 16), who – like the main award nominees – has made a difference in their local community through volunteering in sport during the Covid-19 crisis. The Young Unsung Hero award is, of course, named after Captain Tom in honour of his heroic efforts in raising £38.9million for the NHS through walking laps of his garden in the run up to his 100th birthday. You can nominate your young unsung hero here.


Their reward will include a night at the famous BBC Sports Personality of the Year bash, 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.

Nominations are now open and you can nominate your inspiring volunteer between now and the deadline – 23:59 on Sunday, 25 October 2020. You can submit your nomination here.


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