Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
Lance Haggith, of Bromham, Bedford, has been named the UK winner of the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony for 2010.
Lance, aged 50, impressed the judges with his dedication to basketball coaching.
They chose him as 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.
He coaches youngsters at various teams, is the president of Bedfordshire Basketball Association and also set up two charities to support youngsters' participation in sport – Bounce Back and Sports Traider.
Runners up in the Sports Unsung Hero category, in no particular order, were Liz Broomhead, 63, of Buxton, Derbyshire, and Carmel Gorman and Seamus McAnee of the City of Derry Swimming Club.
Liz has worked tirelessly for four decades to develop netball and encourage participation in the amateur sport, working as a volunteer for International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), Netball Europe (NE) and England Netball (EN).
Carmel and Seamus of the City of Derry Swimming Club have been coaching young people of all backgrounds and ability to swim for over 30 years, and show no sign of slowing down despite Seamus being over 75.
The award now in its eighth year recognises the outstanding contribution and extraordinary commitment of volunteers to grass-roots sport in the community.
Lance says: "It's a great honour to have been chosen as the BBC Sports Unsung Hero, and I'm thrilled to receive the award.
"Basketball has always been a passion of mine and it wasn't until I was coaching some youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds that I realised they were not getting the same opportunities as my four children and I wanted to do something about it. I feel I'm putting smiles on people's faces and that I'm achieving something by volunteering my time."
Carl Doran, Editor, BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010, said: "All our 15 BBC regional winners, as well as hundreds of others who were nominated, are quite simply remarkable people. They give their time and efforts for no reward except the enjoyment they get from sport, plus their determination to ensure grassroots sport in their communities across the UK continues to flourish. Congratulations to Lance Haggith on winning the BBC Sport Unsung Hero award for 2010. Well deserved."
Barbara Slater, Director, BBC Sport, said: "BBC Sport is very proud to salute Lance Haggith as a very worthy winner of this year's Unsung Hero Award. His remarkable efforts, along with those of our 14 other regional winners, highlight their selfless dedication to sport in their communities. They harness the power of sport to improve lives, help thousands of others enjoy sport and provide the winners of the future. Our congratulations go to them all."
Lance was presented with his accolade at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event held at Birmingham on Sunday 19 December 2010.
Full list of regional winners:
North East – Willy Thompson, aged 73, from Westerhope in Newcastle upon Tyne, has spent the last 42 years giving much of his free time to several North East based cycling clubs where he has been involved in the organisation and management of road cycling events and races. Much of his work is done through The League International – a non-profit organisation that organises such events. Willy can even be found filling in potholes on the roads after a bad winter. Willy is well known to everyone in the North East cycling community and is always willing to work with and support cyclists, from beginners to those competing at an international level.
North West – John Jacobson, 56, from Liverpool Speke Garston Handball Club, has played Handball at a local and national level for over 42 years and has even been a member of the Great Britain Handball team at the Olympic Games. He is dedicated to promoting the sport in his local community, running youth leagues and visiting local schools to encourage young people to take up Handball. John coaches at Garston Village Hall twice a week and also takes adult players to Liverpool Prison to play inmates, helping with their rehabilitation and eventual release back into society.
Yorkshire – Matthew Milnes, 25, from The Community of the Scholemoor Estate, Bradford, helped raise the money to build – and coaches at – brand new sporting facilities at Scholemoor Sports Stadium. The facilities include a floodlit multi use games area and an adventure play site for younger children. A junior grass football pitch is also almost complete along with changing rooms. The judges chose him as their winner because: "He summed up to us what unsung hero is all about…taking on a project, seeing it through to the end even when and indeed especially when times got tricky."
Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – Julie Norman, 54, from Acorn Judo Club, Digby, Lincolnshire, has been involved in judo for nearly 40 years – coaching for the last 22. Michael Hortin News and Sports Editor, BBC Radio Lincolnshire said: "The standard of entries for this year's award was very high, but the panel of judges felt Julie's commitment to judo over a long period of time in rural Lincolnshire should be recognised. The judges were particularly impressed with the extra effort Julie made to help young people with confidence problems into the sport."
West Midlands – Pat Benson, 74, from Selly Park in Birmingham runs the Small Heath Amateur Boxing Club. He devotes 35 hours a week to running classes, organising boxing events and working as club secretary, completely as a volunteer. He has coached thousands over a 38 year career, helping people from a diverse range of backgrounds and going the extra mile to change the lives of others through sport.
East Midlands – Liz Broomhead, 63, of Buxton, Derbyshire, has worked tirelessly for four decades to develop netball and encourage participation in the amateur sport. She travels the world as an unpaid volunteer to promote and coach the sport but nearer to home she devotes four days a week to teaching sport at her local school. The 63-year-old was the national senior England netball coach for six years, and also coached the national under 18s, and works as a volunteer for netball organisations International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), Netball Europe (NE) and England Netball (EN).
East – Lance Haggith, 50, of Bromham, Bedford, 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. He coaches youngsters at various teams, is the president of Bedfordshire Basketball Association, and also set up two charities to support youngsters’ participation in sport - Bounce Back and Sports Traider.
West – Stuart Tudball, 52, is the co-ordinator for the Minehead and West Somerset Cricket Academy. For 25 years he has dedicated countless hours to coaching youngsters, and has also raised thousands of pounds for the group. Stuart was deemed by the judges to be the cornerstone and driving force behind youth cricket in West Somerset.
South West – William (Bill) Ryan, 70, a founder member of the Saltash Rugby Club, has won the BBC South West Sports Unsung Hero award for 2010. Since Saltash Rugby Club was founded in 1967, Bill has dedicated countless hours to it as a player, Captain, Secretary, Treasurer, Colts Manager, Chairman, and fund-raiser. Bill has helped thousands of youngsters over the 40 years he has been involved with the club. As a teacher at the local comprehensive Bill encouraged boys to get off the streets and join the club, ensuring they had an identity and a sense of pride. Many of the boys went on to represent Cornwall and a couple have represented England at international level.
South – Bruce Allcorn, 69, who volunteers at Broad Chalke Tennis Club and Broad Chalke Church of England Primary School, Wiltshire. Bruce has been encouraging people of all ages in and around Bishopstone and Broad Chalke near Salisbury, to keep their eye on the ball with his work to develop a village tennis club and after-school youth teams playing football, rugby and cricket. The judges felt Bruce epitomised the Unsung Hero award. His selfless commitment to his community has made a real difference to local people. And he's given his time freely for many years to help people of all ages to enjoy sport. Bruce has never sought any recognition for his efforts. But the numbers of people who wrote willingly in support of his nomination prove the esteem in which he's held.
South East – Trevor Rogers, 55, has been a leading light at Tilmanstone Colliery Welfare Cricket Club for half a century, keeping the club going even after the pit closed in 1986. His incredible dedication as both boy and man started at just five years old when he began helping the then groundsman. He is now head groundsman for Tilmanstone, maintaining the prized cricket square and outfield as well as two football pitches and still finds time to be Chairman and raise thousands for the club.
London – Akay Isola, 75, from All Stars Youth Club, Paddington, London, has, over the course of 35 years, given thousands of youngsters a real opportunity to make something of themselves. Through boxing, Akay teaches the values and goals needed to keep them on the straight and narrow, changing the lives of many disenfranchised youngsters in a particularly challenging area of London, where both poverty and crime are prevalent. Despite the high level of social problems in the area, Akay has managed to create a harmonious and successful Club serving the community.
Scotland – Tom McGuinness, 35, of Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club was nominated for the outstanding contribution he makes to coaching and organising during his ten years as member. The club runs a programme aimed at encouraging older recruits to take up rowing. Tom’s energy and enthusiasm has helped develop the programme from half a dozen crews to this year’s record 20 crews which involves participants of all ages. Over that time he has assisted with the introduction of more than 500 adults to rowing, many of whom have become participants or club supporters, financially or practically. He has also focused his attention on junior and schools rowing. He coaches young people in the basic skills of rowing and safety until they are competent to move on to competitive coaching.
Wales – Lisa Jones, 37 is the junior football coach from Penydarren Boys & Girls Football Club in Merthyr. She has been coaching for eight years and coaches three teams in her spare time, working with over 100 children per week. “A true inspiration to all who know her, children love her, she never puts herself first and is always thinking of others,” said her nominee for the award.
Northern Ireland – Carmel Gorman and Seamus McAnee of the City of Derry Swimming Club have been coaching young people of all backgrounds and ability to swim for over 30 years, and show no sign of slowing down despite Seamus being over 75. Often starting their coaching day at 5am, the pair strive to teach as many children as possible this life saving skill. With before and after school sessions as well as weekend galas, Carmel and Seamus even spend their summer holidays taking swimmers further afield to continue their coaching in America.
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