Nottingham volunteer Keiren Thompson wins Sports Personality Unsung Hero award

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Keiren Thompson wins Unsung Hero Award

Volunteer Keiren Thompson has been named the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award winner at Sports Personality of the Year 2019.

Thompson runs the community project 'Helping Kids Achieve' in Bulwell in Nottingham, one of the most deprived areas in the city.

The 31-year-old grew up in Bulwell and as a teenager was hospitalised after being badly beaten in an attack.

He said the incident "inspired" him to "make a change in Nottingham" and stop youngsters getting into similar issues to his attackers.

Thompson runs sessions four nights per week at his project and has also set up a weekend basketball team.

The project, which he set up with his own money, also encourages young people to volunteer and take up leadership roles, with a number of those to have done so winning local awards.

"First of all I want to say thank you to mum for believing in me," he said.

"Secondly I want to thank my volunteers. I also want to thank all my young leaders, what they are doing is amazing. They are setting an example for the younger kids below them.

"I want to thank all the young people that come to my sessions, without them it wouldn't be anything.

"Last but not least I want to thank all the parents that bring their young kids down to the sessions. What they do is amazing as well."

One parent said: "The kids here are challenging, my children are challenging too, but Keiren inspires them in a different way. It is important for them to see role models."

Thompson was nominated alongside other volunteers from across the country and was presented with the national award at the Sports Personality of the Year 2019 ceremony in Aberdeen on Sunday.

Visit our special guide on how to get into volunteering.

Recent Unsung Hero award winners
2018: Kirsty Ewen (swimming coach)2014: Jill Stidever (swimming coach)
2017: Denise Larrad (fitness, walking and running leader)2013: Joe and Maggie Forber (basketball coach and administrator)
2016: Marcellus Baz (boxing coach)2012: Sue and Jim Houghton (community sports club)
2015: Damien Lindsay (football coach)2011: Janice Eaglesham and Ian Mirfin (athletics coaches)