Jade Jones joins the hunt for a BBC Sports Unsung Hero in Wales

Date: 01.10.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.51
Category: BBC One; Sport; Wales
London 2012 Olympics Taekwondo gold medal champion Jade Jones today launched the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award 2012 in Wales to search for and honour individuals from the world of grassroots sport.

Jade Jones from Flint in north Wales, who won Britain’s first ever Olympic gold in Taekwondo, in the women’s featherweight 57kg category at the London 2012 Olympics, launched the search for a BBC Sport Unsung Hero for Wales at BBC Cymru Wales’ Broadcasting House in Llandaff.

Jade knows how important these contributions are. She credits her own unsung hero, her granddad Martin, with making her the success she is today.

“He’s the one who got me into taekwondo as I was a bit mischievous when I was eight, so he got me into the sport just to keep me doing something to keep me occupied.

“He took me every day to training and even some days when I didn’t want to do it he persuaded me to go, as sometimes you just need that little tiny push. He’d come home from work and he’d drive me for hours to the best training sessions all over the country for competitions.

“He was so important for my confidence. Even to know that he’s putting in all this effort shows that he thinks I’m good enough, so that makes me confident to think well if he believes it, so then I’m going to believe it.”

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, help out by, for example, preparing facilities, rolling the pitch, coaching the juniors, running local sports leagues or working 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 sports staff, local sporting figures and other independent community figures, with a regional winner being picked by that judging panel.

Last year’s overall winner for Wales was Gareth Hughes of Rhondda Golf Club. The 26 year-old had developed the Rhondda Golf Academy into a thriving community, offering golf opportunities to boys and girls up to the age of 18, with over 60 boys and girls coached at the course each weekend. His nominee called him “a true inspiration to the game of golf and everyone who knows him".

Geoff Williams, BBC Wales Head of Sport says: "Jade has shown that even Olympic gold medallists have unsung heroes – people who believe in them, and help them with no thought of reward for themselves. We know there are many people in Wales who put in long hours without recognition to help others, and this award is a way of celebrating them.”

Unsung Heroes from 15 regions and nations attend the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December, where an overall winner is announced.

Nominations for the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award 2012 can be made at bbc.co.uk/sportwales and bbc.co.uk/newyddion using a printable form.

There is also a low-cost phone number people can call to request nomination forms – 0845 308 8000. Calls cost up to 5p/min from most landlines (an additional connection fee may also apply). Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.

Nominations can be made up until midnight on Monday 29 October.

NP

Notes to editors

• Nominations are made via a form obtainable from bbc.co.uk/sportsunsunghero. It can also be requested by calling 0845 308 8000. Calls cost up to 5p/min from most landlines (an additional connection fee may also apply). Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more. Calls cost up to 5p/min from most landlines (an additional connection fee may also apply). Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.

• People are asked to detail the number of years a nominee has been involved in the sport or organisation, the amount of time given each week, what they do, and how it has improved people’s enjoyment of sport and life.

• We also ask what the person’s involvement has meant to their local community.

• Full terms and conditions are available at bbc.co.uk/sportsunsunghero

• Find us on social media – www.facebook.com/BBCSportUnsungHero or Twitter #unsung