A very warm welcome to the fourth Mirror Pride of Sport Awards in partnership with TSB.
Our awards, which celebrate the unsung heroes of grassroots sport, are getting better with every passing year and I wish all of you attending tonight’s event could have witnessed our recent judging panel when all the contenders were reviewed and considered.
The insight, passion and commitment shown by our judges was exceptional.
And I will reveal that some very profound personal insights helped shape the decisions behind tonight’s winners.
We share a vision with our partners TSB to honour the unknown and the unsung of sport.
The people who actually make sport work at a local level and help to transform communities.
Our nation would be a much bleaker place without the largely unknown and unheralded band of workers who offer help, coaching, leadership and inspiration to the sportsmen and women you will meet tonight.
Without those heroes behind the scenes we would have little tangible success in sport – at any level. We do still have a couple of awards to honour the careers and profound impact of some rather more famous sportsmen.
I’m sure we will celebrate their careers in the style befitting them. So please enjoy an evening during which I believe you will be touched and perhaps inspired by the bravery of our Pride of Sport heroes.
You may not have heard of most of them before tonight but you will never forget them afterwards.