The nominations for this year’s Unsung Hero award have officially opened today, marking the commencement of the 70th year of Sports Personality of the Year.
This accolade, designed to acknowledge volunteers who go the extra mile to promote sport and physical activity in their local community, constitutes one of the categories at the prestigious awards ceremony scheduled for December.
All candidates must be 16 years of age or older and actively engage or volunteer for a sports club or physical activity in their local vicinity – this could encompass a wide range from football to fencing, swimming to salsa – and they can serve in any capacity, whether that entails being a steward or a coach.
The nominee must exhibit fervour for their local community and inspire others to participate in a sport.
This year, there will be recipients from each of the 15 BBC nations and regions, honouring the committed individuals who are dedicated to grassroots sport across the UK. A panel of industry experts will then select a single victor, to be revealed live at the event in December.
To propose a candidate, visit the BBC Sport website and complete the application. You must be over 18, or possess consent from someone over 18, and the nomination window remains open until 23:59 on Monday 30 October.
The ambassador for the award this year, Triple Olympic Champion gymnast Max Whitlock OBE, remarked: “Almost every athlete falls in love with their sport at a local club, and these clubs wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the dedication and passion of volunteers. I’m so excited to be a part of the award this year which celebrates the work of so many people across the country involved in grassroots sports.”
Last year’s recipient was Mike Alden. Mike was diagnosed with brittle bone disease as a child, yet he refused to let it hinder his pursuit of football. He established Park Knowle Football Club to inspire others to partake in the sport in one of Bristol’s most underprivileged areas, dedicating approximately 100 hours per week to the club.
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport said: “I am always incredibly impressed by the nominations for Unsung Hero. It’s a truly inspirational award which celebrates the hard work of so many volunteers in sports clubs across the UK. I can’t wait to see who wins this year.”
Further details regarding this year’s awards will be made available in due course.
For applications, to review the terms and conditions, and to peruse the privacy notice, please visit: www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero.