The unsung heroes of sport in Bucks may not make it to the Rio Olympics but they could still be in line for glittering silverware this year.
Nominations are now open for the prestigious awards that celebrate the people who make grass-roots sport happen in Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes.
The eleventh annual Bucks & MK Sport Awards will be in November, and the public is being urged to help organisers identify the individuals and organisations to be honoured.
Mark Ormerod, director of Leap – the County Sport and Activity Partnership which co-ordinates the event – said: “Most of us are bound to become caught up in the drama and emotion of the Olympics and Paralympics this year, and every athlete who stands on the podium can trace their sporting journey back to their early experiences in school, at a club and name their first coach. But sport is not just about being the best on the planet – it’s about competing, doing your best, getting fit and having fun.
“Our awards event on November 18 is the Bucks & MK sporting version of the Oscars, with the message being to recognise the people behind the people in sport – all the volunteers who make things happen behind the scenes. We want to reward the coaches, the referees, the club officials and all the other dedicated heroes who work all year round purely for the love of their sport.”
Last year’s awards ceremony was attended by more than 200 people at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre, and special guest was Paralympic gold medal swimmer and cyclist Dame Sarah Storey DBE.
This year’s event will be at the same venue.
Mr Ormerod added: “Every year, we ensure the awards get better and better – but let’s make 2016’s event worthy of an Olympic year.”
The categories for awards will be: Active Workplace of the Year; Club of the Year; Project of the Year; Primary School of the Year; Secondary School of the Year; Volunteer of the Year; Young Leader of the Year; Community Coach of the Year; Performance Coach of the Year; Terry Cook Unsung Hero of the Year.
To nominate, go to www.leapwithus.org.uk/sportawards or call the Leap office on 01296 585215.
LAST YEAR’S WINNERS
Active Workplace of the Year 2015 (sponsored by Bucks New University) – NHS Chiltern CCG.
Club of the Year 2015 (sponsored by Planet Ice) – Halton Village Lawn Tennis Club.
Community Coach of the Year 2015 (Sponsored by Amersham & Wycombe College) – Lee McCarthy, Aylesbury.
Performance Coach of the Year 2015 (sponsored by BP Collins) – Jemima King of Wendover.
Project of the Year 2015 (sponsored by Buckinghamshire County Council) – Kick Start 100, Stoke Mandeville.
Primary School of the Year 2015 (sponsored by Buckinghamshire Learning Trust) – Oak Green School, Aylesbury.
Secondary School of the Year 2015 (Sponsored by Buckinghamshire Learning Trust) – Great Marlow School.
Terry Cook Unsung Hero of the Year 2015 (sponsored by 1Life) – Brian Lucas of Beaconsfield.
Volunteer of the Year 2015 (sponsored by Aylesbury College) – Heidi Leseur of Naphill.
Young Leader of the Year 2015 (sponsored by MK Community Foundation) – Bethan Partridge.