Grass Roots Awards: Time to honour YOUR unsung heroes who shine brightest of all

Betty Codona would be worthy recipient of the Unsung Hero award
Betty Codona would be worthy recipient of the Unsung Hero award
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It’s a celebration to honour the great and good of the region’s sporting stars - and we need your help to help honour our grassroots heroes, too, at a special Sheffield Celebration of Sport dinner held in the city later this year.

A 1,000-seat glittering gala dinner will celebrate the city’s past, present and future sporting success at the English Institute of Sport, on Wednesday, October 5.

And Sheffield Tigers must be in with a shout of the team of the year

And Sheffield Tigers must be in with a shout of the team of the year

Kell Brook, Sheffield’s IBF welterweight world champion, is already confirmed to attend, and promoters hope he will be joined by the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Joe Root and Danny Willett.

But the night just isn’t about the very highest-profile sporting superstars - six special awards will also honour the best our grassroots region has to offer, too.

Nominate YOUR sports heroes - Click here to download a nomination form

The categories are:

Will Hallam CC be nominated? Their first-team won promotion this year to the Yorkshire League South

Will Hallam CC be nominated? Their first-team won promotion this year to the Yorkshire League South

Sportsman of the Year: The sportsman of the Year - aged 18 plus - will have displayed an outstanding level of personal achievement at district, county, regional, national or international level and meet at least two of the following criteria: * have made significant progress in their sport, * shown exceptional dedication and commitment, * exceeded expectations in performance, * are an outstanding role model.

Sportswoman of the Year: The sportswoman of the Year - aged 18 plus - will have displayed an outstanding level of personal achievement at district, county, regional, national or international level and meet at least two of the following criteria: * have made significant progress in their sport, * shown exceptional dedication and commitment, * exceeded expectations in performance, * are an outstanding role model.

Sports Club Of The Year: The Club of the Year Award recognises exceptional commitment to developing a club and the activities and services it offers to its local community. Nominated clubs must embody the true spirit of team-work, demonstrate the significant impact the work of the club has had over the past 12 months and how this has benefitted the local community, with evidence of the club's commitment to developing club members, players, coaches, officials and volunteers.

Future Star: The Future Star Award will go to an individual who has show great potential for the future, the winner will be an incredible athlete with an outstanding level of personal achievement at district, county, regional, national or international level, up to the age of 18. The winner must meet at least two of the following criteria: * have made significant progress in their sport, * shown exceptional dedication and commitment, * exceeded expectations in performance, * are an outstanding role model.

Bryony Page won a shock silver medal at the Olympics...

Bryony Page won a shock silver medal at the Olympics...

Overcoming Adversity: The Overcoming Adversity Award is for an individual who has overcome a personal challenge and achieved at least two of the following criteria: * have made significant progress in their sport, * shown exceptional dedication and commitment, * exceeded expectations in performance, * are an outstanding role model.

Unsung Hero: The Unsung Hero Award will recognise an individual of any age who gives up much of their own time to provide the region with their help and support in any sporting discipline. An inspirational individual and example of true dedication, the winner will be a valuable part of any community and made an outstanding contribution to sport as an official, administrator, volunteer, coach or manager.

This is where The Star needs your help. We need your nominations - by September 16 - for the above categories ahead of drawing up a shortlist. Either fill out the nomination form or email your nominee and why they are suitable for the award, along with your contact details, to grassroots@sheffieldnewspapers.co.uk with ‘Grass Roots Nomination’ in the subject field.

A panel of judges will then decide a shortlist of three entrants in each category, and a public vote will help choose the winner. Competition is bound to be fierce over the sporting region, but Sheffield Tigers rugby club could be club of the year after winning the National League Three North title, and also reaching two cup finals. Or will Hallam cricket club get a nomination, after their first team won the South Yorkshire League and the U15s won a national title, too?

While Nathan Batchelor devotes so much spare time to the local junior league

While Nathan Batchelor devotes so much spare time to the local junior league

Bryony Page, who trains at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, won trampolining silver at the Rio Olympics and Conor Hancock is a regular in the pages of Grass Roots, winning endurance racing title after title.

Brendan Ingle and Betty Codona would be worthy recipients of the Unsung Hero award, after forming the famous Ingle Gym and the Sheffield Hatters respectively.

Or Nathan Batchelor, who spends around 40 hours a week ensuring the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday League, the biggest in Europe, runs smoothly.

Sue Gilroy, who trains at the EIS, is a perfect example of overcoming adversity; after chronic dislocations in her knees left her wheelchair-bound, her fiance abandoned her and she had to give up her dreams of being a teacher, but she recovered to be a star Paralympian after taking up table tennis.

Like the Tigers, Hallam, Ingle, Codona, Batchelor or Gilroy, there will be thousands of shining lights across the city who deserve recognition. So let’s give it to them.

* A range of sponsorship packages and gold, silver and bronze table packages are now available for the gala dinner as well as individual tickets. To be part of the celebrations, visit www.olympiclegacypark.co.uk, email claire@olympiclegacypark.co.uk or call 0114 261 9604

Sue Gilroy embodies the spirit of the 'Overcoming Adversity' award

Sue Gilroy embodies the spirit of the 'Overcoming Adversity' award