McConnell launches Scotland's sporting Unsung Hero hunt

Lee McConnell with her Unsung Hero, first coach Alan Scobie
Lee McConnell with her Unsung Hero, first coach Alan Scobie

Lee McConnell has launched the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award 2011 in Scotland to seek and honour individuals from the world of grassroots sport.

The 400m athlete, who joined her own unsung hero to launch the award in Glasgow, knows how important these contributions are.

McConnell credits her own hero, Alan Scobie, with making her successful.

"Alan's been a big part of my career. He started coaching me at 14 when I was thinking about dropping out," she said.

"Alan is still very involved in my career and is my soundboard and, even on a personal side, he's the person who helps me if I've got any issues, because if you're a happy person I think your athletics works better and if any situations arise, he's the one I tend to go to.

"Alan was initially my coach, but he's definitely now a very good friend. There are lots of unsung heroes out there in the sporting world because every sports club takes a lot of organising.

"You need a lot of people for it to operate and to give kids a good experience so they continue it."

Scobie said he was pleased to have been nominated by his former protege as an Unsung Hero.

"It almost makes the hours out in the hail and snow worthwhile," he said.

"I've known Lee since she was a young kid coming into the sport so our relationship has changed over the years and it's more a friendship we have now.

"I think the Unsung Hero award is a great opportunity for all athletes to nominate their coaches and show them how much they're appreciated."

Last year's Scotland winner was Tom McGuinness of Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club in Glasgow. He was nominated by the club for the outstanding contribution he makes to coaching and organising.

Sports Unsung Hero logo

Do you know a volunteer like Tom who you would like to nominate?

Nominations should be made for people who go the extra mile to change the lives of others through sport and who deserve to be recognised for their selfless work on the part of others.

Nominees should be people who, on a voluntary basis, prepare facilities, roll the pitch, coach the juniors, run local sports leagues or work behind the scenes so that sport can be played and enjoyed by people throughout the UK.

Once the nomination process has been completed, a shortlist of nominees in each area is chosen by a panel made up of BBC regional and nation's sports staff, local sporting figures and other independent community figures, with a winner being picked by that judging panel.

BBC Sports Unsung Hero is one of the award categories of the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which this year comes from MediaCityUK in Salford on 22 December.

If you would like to nominate someone, please complete the form below...

Unsung Hero nomination form (Word)

..and email it by 2359 GMT on Sunday 30 October.

BBC Sports Unsung Hero - Terms & Conditions

There is also a low-cost phone number people can call to request nomination forms - 0845 308 8000. Calls cost up to 5p/min from most landlines (an additional connection fee may also apply). Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.

Social media is also playing a greater role in this year's BBC Sports Unsung Hero campaign. A dedicated Facebook page has been created at and information and updates will also be posted on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Twitter feed @BBCSPOTY.

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