Volunteers pride of Cornwall
SPORTS volunteers throughout Cornwall were recognised and rewarded for all their hard work in 2012 at this year's Cornwall Sports Awards ceremony in Newquay.
Many unsung sporting heroes took centre stage to receive well-deserved applause for all their incredible volunteering efforts and helping to bring the Olympic legacy to life.
The annual event, at The Headland Hotel on Friday, welcomed more than 250 of Cornwall's dedicated volunteer sports coaches, officials, clubs, organisations and young leaders.
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They were joined by special guests, including a number of Cornish Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and Tim Bunting, general manager of the Helston-based ShelterBox UK and Ireland.
Organised by the Cornwall Sports Partnership, the event is now in its seventh year of celebrating and paying tribute to the many volunteers from across the Duchy who dedicate their time and efforts to supporting our strong sports community and inspiring the next sporting generation.
During the ceremony Tim Bunting and Olympic rower Annie Vernon from Wadebridge delivered inspirational speeches.
Annie said: "I've been really excited about the 2012 Cornwall Sports Awards, being a very proud Cornish woman, as it is a great opportunity to bring together and celebrate all the athletes, coaches and volunteers that contribute to the sporting life in this county.
"I've now retired from international rowing after eight years at the coal face, and I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to give something back to all those in the county who have supported me over the years."
Tim Bunting said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been a part of the 2012 Cornwall Sports Awards.
"From our board of trustees, to our fantastic fundraisers, right through to those currently delivering aid in Senegal, Niger and Iraq, volunteers are the lifeblood of ShelterBox.
"Volunteers have therefore been responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives across the world."
Awards organiser Natasha Howard of the Cornwall Sports Partnership, said: "The Cornwall Sports Awards has grown every year since it started in 2006 and is now a key date in the Cornish sports calendar.
"We designed this year's event to build on the success of every other year and are delighted to have the opportunity to bring together some of our Olympians and Paralympians.
"During the year of our home Olympics it is incredibly fitting for our elite sports personalities to attend the event and formally pay tribute to the grassroots volunteers who have played a considerable part in their sporting journey.
"Volunteers are the backbone of sport and the true stars of the Cornwall Sports Awards.
"We are thrilled to celebrate their great achievements as part of this extraordinary year of sport and encourage them to continue their good work, creating a legacy of increased participation and enjoyment of sport."
A variety of Cornish companies and organisations support the event, including: Truro College, Sport England, Miller Countrywide, Tony Pryce Sports, Cornwall & Devon Media, Sports Leaders UK, Pyramid Production Services and NHS Health Promotion Service.
To see photographs and videos of the winners and event, visit the Cornwall Sports Partnership's website and Facebook page: www.cornwallsportspartnership.co.uk and www.facebook.com/cornwallsportspartnership