19 Sep

Recognising Unsung Heroes

unsung heroes logo

The BBC is once again set to honour individuals from the world of grassroots sport with the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award 2011, launched today. Across the UK people are invited to nominate someone who has made a difference to their community through sport.

BBC Sports Unsung Hero is one of the categories at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, which will be held at MediaCityUK in Salford on December 22. The Unsung Hero Award recognises and rewards outstanding contribution by individuals at the grassroots level of local sport and is now in its 9th year.

A winner is chosen in each BBC English Region and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each winner then gets the chance to join the sporting stars of today at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2011 where the overall BBC Sports Unsung Hero winner is announced.

Nominations should be made for people who go the extra mile to change the lives of others through sport and who deserve to be recognised for their selfless work on the part of others. Nominees should be people who, on a voluntary basis, prepare facilities, roll the pitch, coach the juniors, run local sports leagues or work behind the scenes so that sport can be played and enjoyed by people throughout the UK.

Once the nomination process has been completed, a shortlist of nominees in each area is chosen by a panel made up of BBC regional and nations' sports staff, local sporting figures and other independent community figures, with a winner being picked by that judging panel.

Last year's overall winner was Lance Haggith, of, Bedford. Lance, aged 51, impressed the judges with his dedication to basketball coaching, making him the overall winner from the 15 regional winners across the UK. Lance has been working with children and young people of all abilities, including disabled, vulnerable and disaffected youngsters, to provide support through basketball coaching for the last 30 years.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said, "The BBC is delighted to recognise the important, and often unheralded, work of those whose selfless efforts so often shape the sporting success and enjoyment of so many different individuals and teams.

"The BBC Sports Unsung Hero awards are important because they celebrate the commitment, enthusiasm and energy of people up and down the country who give something back to their community through sport."

Nominations for the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award 2011 can be made at here using a printable form. Nominations can be made up until midnight on Sunday 30 October.

Social media is also playing a greater role in this year's BBC Sports Unsung Hero campaign. A dedicated Facebook page has been created and information and updates will also be posted on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Twitter feed @BBCSPOTY.