The 2013 Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sports Awards are open for nominations, and local people are being encouraged to nominate their unsung heroes and sporting talent and to win one of 17 different awards.

The awards publicly reward and recognise commitment, performance and excellence across all sports. The wide range of categories ensures that recognition is given to elite performers, as well as to teams, clubs and stalwarts of the local sporting community – the coaches, officials and volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help athletes and clubs succeed. In addition, the Outstanding Personal Achievement Award is a special award to recognise inspirational endeavour on the part of a participant, coach or volunteer who has overcome adversity to make an outstanding individual achievement in their chosen sport.

The annual event is a joint venture between Hampshire County Council, Sport Hampshire & IOW and the local Sports Councils & Forums in Hampshire. It has the support of BBC Radio Solent as well as local businesses and organisations, Halo Conferences, Toucan Design, Inprint and Coaching Hampshire & IOW.

Nominations are free and open until 1 February 2013. The nomination forms are straightforward and can be easily downloaded from the Sport Hampshire & IOW website,, where full details about the Awards and how to nominate can also be found.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at Southampton Football Club on Wednesday 20 March 2013. There are a number of ways to support the Awards and show your commitment to local sport. For information, please contact Deborah Beard,; 01962 845168 or Heather Windust,; 01962 846172.

Awards categories are: • Junior Sportsman / Junior Sportswoman • Senior Sportsman / Senior Sportswoman • Masters Sportsperson • Junior Disability Sportsperson • Senior Disability Sportsperson Nominees in each of the above categories are to have demonstrated a major personal achievement in their sport over the last year, met or exceeded their performance goals and acted as a positive role model and inspiration to others within the Hampshire and Isle of Wight community.

• Junior Team of the Year • Senior Team of the Year Nominees are to have achieved success and performed at a consistently high level and demonstrated fair play and a good sporting attitude over the past 12 months.

• Coach of the Year (Participation) This award recognises the outstanding contribution of a coach to getting more people starting, staying and/or succeeding in sport through high quality coaching. • Coach of the Year (Performance) This award recognises the achievements of a coach in developing emerging talent and athletes at the highest level of performance sport.

• Official of the Year Nominees must be able to demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm and commitment to officiating/umpiring in their sport as well as a ‘professional’ attitude and excellent dedication over the past 12 months.

• Junior Volunteer of the Year • Senior Volunteer of the Year Nominees in these categories must have demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to their sport/club, made a significant impact on their club/organisation/sport through volunteering and demonstrated a positive and ‘professional’ attitude.

• 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.

• Outstanding Personal Achievement Award Awarded to a participant, coach or volunteer who has overcome adversity to make an outstanding individual achievement in their chosen sport.

• Service to Sport This special award is awarded to an individual who has contributed significantly to their sport/club over a minimum of 10 years, demonstrated long standing commitment and dedication to their sport/club and continually inspired and encouraged others during their involvement in their sport/club.