BBC Sports Personality 2016: Meet the 15 National and Regional Unsung Heroes

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BBC Sports Personality 2016: Meet the 15 National and Regional Unsung Heroes

The BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero Award celebrates outstanding contributions from those who volunteer their time and effort to help in the development and running of grassroots sports.

This is the 14th year of the award, which honours the dedicated coaches and organisers whose efforts encourage the sporting talents of others, and whose work enables local clubs and groups to thrive.

After the nomination period, panels met in each of the BBC's 15 Nations and English Regions - and winners were chosen from each area. These men and women joined sporting icons at the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in Birmingham, where Marcellus Baz was chosen as the overall 'Unsung Hero' winner.

Meet each of the regional winners below.

East of England - Vanessa Weedon-Jones

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BBC Unsung Hero 2016: Vanessa Weedon-Jones wins BBC East award

Vanessa Weedon-Jones has helped more than 30 women get into sailing by creating Women on the Water - a sailing course for women based in Cambridgeshire.

Vanessa has worked tirelessly as a volunteer for sailing in the Cambridgeshire area, acting as a catalyst for positive change. Hunts Sailing Club, and Grafham Water have benefited enormously from her efforts.

East Midlands - Marcellus Baz

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'He's changed my life so much, I can't explain it'

Marcellus Baz had a tough start in life. At 23, his boxing career was ended when he was stabbed by a rival gang member in Nottingham. But he went on to found a boxing club and has spent 20 years steering youngsters away from dangers of gang life and crime.

Marcellus gives up 30 hours a week for free at the Nottingham School of Boxing, taking referrals from probation, youth offending and social services.

London - Michael Harris

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How boxing coach is tackling knife crime

Young volunteer boxing coach Michael Harris took over the running of the Double Jab boxing club in Lewisham two years ago.

In an area troubled by gang violence and knife crime, he has helped 19 youngsters with minor criminal records to get into steady employment.

And by offering training and facilities to more than 250 people who use the gym every week, he continues to provide a safe space for young people to channel their energy away from the street.

North East - Steve Binks

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'It means everything to me'

Steve Binks has been coaching and inspiring children and adult cyclists at Cleveland Wheelers for more than 40 years.

In his time at the club he has set up the league 2000, a competition for under-18s which has been running for 20 years. He has also been responsible for two Tour de Yorkshire events.

North West - Mandi Mellor

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'We wouldn't be here without her'

For 11 years, Mandi Mellor has put in up to 30 hours a week in volunteering at Warrington Gymnastics Club, managing finances, fundraising, sourcing equipment and programming classes.

During that time she has moved the club to a new home and seen membership grow from 150 to more than 1,100.

Northern Ireland - Andy Alcorn

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Get Inspired: Football coach Andy Alcorn wins BBC Northern Ireland award

Andy Alcorn runs the Harry Gregg Foundation small-sided games centre in Coleraine.

In eight years, the centre has grown from eight teams to 104 and former Manchester United star Gregg says: "What they do is incredible. They are doing it because they love the game. They don't get any medals and I am very proud of it."

Scotland - Rachael Halifax

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Meet Rachael Halifax, a cycling enthusiast who has won Unsung Hero Scotland 2016.

At Free Wheel North in Glasgow, cycling volunteer Rachael Halifax helps people with disabilities cycle using specially adapted bikes. She also teaches children and adults of all ages how to ride.

Her volunteering has resulted in an increasing number of families taking part in cycling activities together.

South - Mike Whittle

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Mike Whittle is the 2016 BBC Sport Unsung Hero for the South

For more than four decades, football coach Mike Whittle has spent four nights a week at Winsor United, and even puts in additional hours at weekends.

The club has youth teams ranging from under-sixes to under-18s, and Mike, 70, is involved in all of them.

South East - Viv Woodcock-Downey

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BBC Unsung Hero 2016: Viv Woodcock-Downey wins BBC South East award

Viv Woodcock-Downey, has doubled the membership of Brighton's LGBT sport society since she joined 15 years ago.

Blagss is a 400-strong thriving sports group, which helps people get back into sport by boosting their confidence and expanding their social network.

South West - John Friend

For the past four years, John Friend has been head coach at Devonport Amateur Boxing club in Plymouth.

John has trained youngsters - many with difficult backgrounds at home or school or who have suffered from bullying - with some achieving national recognition, while the club has also contributed to a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area.

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'He has an unconditional commitment to every single member of the club'

Wales - Vicki Randall

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BBC Unsung Hero: Vicki Randall wins Welsh title

Vicki Randall from Cwmbran has been instrumental in the growth of grassroots netball in Torfaen and in 2009 set up Cwmbran Youth, which now has 230 members in 14 teams.

Football is the 29-year-old PE teacher's other sporting passion and she formed and coaches the Cwmbran Celtic Ladies side.

West of England - Dave Jones

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'He was the first person I thought of when I looked at my medal'

Archery coach Dave Jones helped Paralympian Jo Frith win gold in Rio while volunteering at Chippenham Archers.

"He helped me get my Rio medal and I am so, so proud to be associated with him," said Jo.

West Midlands - David Finney

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'The club wouldn't be here without him' - Unsung Hero

David Finney, who has been coaching at the Bridge Swimming Club in Redditch for 40 years, is celebrating his upcoming retirement with the West Midlands Unsung Hero award.

The energetic 83-year-old has also coached Redditch Swimming Club since 1972, oversaw a badminton club on Sundays and has helped out at Stonehouse Gang Youth Club in Birmingham since his teens in the 1940s.

Yorkshire - Shiv Krishan

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'He's put in thousands of hours - it's an incredible sacrifice'

Shiv Krishan, a community cricket coach from Bradford, has been involved as a volunteer in the sport for about 30 years.

Currently he works about 10 hours a week with Great Horton Church Junior Cricket Club, the club that nominated him for the BBC award.

Yorkshire and Lincolnshire - Sylvia Worth

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'I can't think of anyone who deserves it more'

In her day job, table-tennis coach Sylvia Worth coaches some of the brightest young prospects in the sport.

But she also runs the Smashers club for over-50s twice a week at Sancton Village Hall, which has grown to more than two dozen members.