Sport volunteers to be recognised on red carpet at BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Posted: Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:48
Today the #BigThankYou campaign, which is the UK's biggest celebration of sports volunteers, is being launched. Culminating at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, the #BigThankYou is an opportunity for sports clubs and fitness groups to acknowledge their volunteers and get closer to the red carpet.
The #BigThankYou campaign is led by Join In (part of the Sport and Recreation Alliance), together with BBC Get Inspired, Sport England and UK Sport.
Community sports and recreation clubs and groups can be part of the action by celebrating their outstanding volunteers, sharing their stories, posting pictures on social media and thanking them through the hashtag #BigThankYou.
On Sunday 18 December the #BigThankYou will reach its climax on the red carpet at BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Birmingham, when the star-studded guest list will surprise volunteers with a call to say a #BigThankYou for the contribution they make in sport.
Last year's star callers included tennis world number one Andy Murray, British golfer Rory McIlroy, international rugby hero Dan Carter, Paralympic tennis star Jordanne Wiley and Olympic gold medallists, Max Whitlock, Dina Asher-Smith and Greg Rutherford.
After another amazing year of sport, we're expecting even more big names to jump at the chance to thank volunteers. Former England rugby union player and now sports broadcaster Maggie Alphonsi will be among them; "My first coach was a volunteer and contributed to my success, helping me to develop my skills. That made a big difference in allowing me to have the goal to play for England.
"I got into rugby at fourteen and the people who kept my club going were all parents and coaches who volunteered, that was really special. When I look back I think, 'wow', if it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't have got into sport and other people wouldn't have got into sport either."
The Sport and Recreation Alliance, working with partners, has recently been handed the baton from the Join In Trust to build on the legacy of sports volunteering. The partnership believes that volunteers are at the core of physical activity across the UK. So whether it's a coach helping to build a player's confidence, an enthusiastic marshal motivating others across the line or the club chair keeping the books balanced, join the nation's celebration of volunteers on 18 December and say a #BigThankYou.
How can you get involved?
We want to hear about great volunteers who deserve a #BigThankYou call live from the red carpet. If you know someone who does that little bit extra to make sport happen nominate them at joininuk.org for a chance to get a call from their sporting hero.
Celebrate the outstanding volunteers at your club with #BigThankYou celebrations and presentations in the build up to December 18. Share their stories, post pictures and thank them through #BigThankYou.