BBC Sport Northern Ireland's Unsung Hero 2013

Leonard Blakely

The BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award celebrates people working behind the scenes to make sport accessible to all.

Do you know someone who inspires people to get involved in playing sport in their communities?

It could be a person, who for no personal reward, gives up their time to encourage others to take part in sport.

It might be someone who could be helping to unearth a champion of the future or who is just keeping a local team or club going behind the scenes.

This sport can be at any level. However they must be someone who gains no financial reward for their time, and must be 16 year of age or over.

The BBC's Unsung Hero awards have run annually since 2003. They recognise special people who dedicate their lives to promoting sport in their community, taking no reward from it other than the pleasure of helping others to participate and enjoy their sport.

The Northern Ireland Unsung Hero winner will be chosen by an expert panel and announced in November.

He or she will then compete against the winners from all 12 BBC English Regions plus Scotland and Wales for the overall winner who will be announced on the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year programme in December, live on BBC One.

The hunt to find our 2013 Unsung Heroes is now on. Following nominations from members of the public using the attached nomination form, which runs until 14 October, panels will meet in each of the BBC's 15 Nations and English Regions and a winner from each will be chosen.

The overall winner will come from those 15 and will be announced on the night of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year programme, which this year will be held in Leeds on Sunday, 15 December.

The winner of the BBC Northern Ireland award in 2012 was Leonard Blakely. Leonard, a dedicated stalwart of Moneyslane FC near Rathfriland, lost a limb a decade ago in a work accident, forcing him to quit playing Intermediate League football.

Following the accident he dedicated himself to training and coaching children from the local area.

He said: "I was delighted and honoured to receive BBC NI's Unsung Hero Award for 2012. It was a total surprise as my daughter sent in the application behind my back."

Please download this form and post or email as directed. You can also call 0845 308 8000 to request that a nomination form is posted to you. Calls cost up to 5p/min from most landlines (an additional connection fee may also apply) and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.

Nomination forms must be returned by 11.59pm on Monday 14 October 2013

Full terms and conditions for these awards can be found here.

Send your nominations by post to: BBC Sports Unsung Hero, BBC Sport NI, Broadcasting House, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, BT2 8HQ.

There is a continuing need for more unsung heroes in sport. If you have been inspired and want to get involved in helping grassroots sport in your community and developing the champions of the future, there is lots of information on our Get Inspired pages.

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