Birmingham Sports Awards 2017: Without volunteers, most sport events would never take place
Posted: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:07
Championing individuals who devote their free time to supporting a multitude of sporting disciplines is the Volunteer Of The Year Award.
The Birmingham Sports Awards are once again set to descend on one of the city's most iconic sporting venues, Edgbaston Stadium, for the 2017 edition of the prestigious ceremony. Wednesday September 20 is the night where sportspeople from across the city will be commended for their sporting achievements over the past 12 months.
Year after year the awards attract not only some of the brightest sportspeople around, but also some of the best businesses who get involved as category sponsors.
Birmingham City Council are one of these sponsors who are reprising their sponsorship of the awards this year.
Steve Hollingworth is the Service Director of Sport, Events, Open Space and Wellbeing at Birmingham City Council and was perfectly placed to talk through their association with this year's awards, starting with why they chose to, once again, get on board.
He said: " The Birmingham Sports Awards provides a great opportunity to recognise all the hard work, dedication and achievements people have made through sport, from individuals at grass root level through to professional athletes, together with teams, volunteers, managers and coaches over the last 12 months. It is a flagship event for the city and we believe, a great celebration of sport."
Birmingham has been the birthplace of many sports stars, all of whom had Birmingham's vast facilities, venues and events within touching distance. With Birmingham being such a stand-out city for sports and sportspeople, Steve outlined the reasons why he believes it is a great place to drive sporting success: "Birmingham is a world-class sporting city and has consistently used international sporting events to profile the city on the world stage as a great place to live, work and invest. This provides an opportunity to see world class sport on your doorstep and raise peoples' aspirations to be the best they can.
"The city has great infrastructure and facilities to host such events with many accessible to the local community. The City Council and its partners are committed to investing in community sports to provide accessible opportunities for people to be physically active and enjoy sport on their door step. Schemes such as Be Active, Active Parks, and Active Streets are designed to encourage more people to take part and be physically active in their local communities."
And regarding the city's Commonwealth Games bid for 2022, he added: "We have undertaken a rigorous process to identify the venues which meet the Games' technical requirements and ensure we meet the athletes' and spectators' needs.
"These world class indoor arenas are central to our bid and contribute to the 95% of Birmingham's venues which are already available. With a heritage of delivering world-class international events these four venues will provide over 50 days of competition for fans to enjoy during the Birmingham 2022 Games."
Championing individuals who devote their free time to supporting a multitude of sporting disciplines is the Volunteer Of The Year Award. Out of the 13 awards on offer, Birmingham City Council chose to support this particular category once again.
Speaking highly of the category, and all the award stands for, Steve said: "Birmingham City Council is very proud to be the sponsor of Volunteer Of The Year Award.
"We have a fantastic base of enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers who continue to provide an exceptional amount of support across our parks, community sport and events throughout the year. Without these committed and loyal volunteers the majority of formal and informal sport, activities and events would simply not take place.
"They are true unsung heroes in our community and deserve all the recognition they can get. As a city we would like to express our gratitude to all these volunteers by officially sponsoring this award."
To finish, Steve identified the key parallels between sport and business endeavour and how the two cross over in more ways than one: "Simply getting involved in sport can make those currently out of work, more work ready, whether it is actually taking part, volunteering or coaching. It helps socialise, get back into a routine, work as a team and helps self-confidence. Sport can also help develop leadership skills, personal coaching and development, setting goals and key mile stones to achieve a successful outcome.
"Playing sport and being involved has so many benefits, from better physical and mental health, general wellbeing, to being part of something, creating a sense of belonging, community spirit and cohesion. Businesses understand the benefits of having a happy and healthy workforce, which helps increase productivity and reduced absence.
"Having successful sporting people and events in the city also benefits the hospitality business sector. Sporting competitors, officials and spectators all stay in the city, in hotels, going out and spending in bars and restaurants and sampling our excellent retail offer. In addition, when events are televised, it also promotes Birmingham to a wider audience, as a great destination to visit, stay and do business."
The Birmingham Sports Awards provide a valuable opportunity for recognition, reward and celebration. If you are, or know someone who is excelling in their sporting discipline, whether that be on an amateur or professional level then get your nominations in today! Nominations close on August 11. For more information visit www.birminghamsportsawards.co.uk