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BBC West Sport Awards 2009

Syd Lawrence, Tom Foley, Dave Grant
Syd Lawrence presented the award to Tom Foley, with his coach Dave Grant

Barton Hill Amateur Boxing Club chairman Tom Foley has been named as the West's Unsung Hero at the BBC's Sport Awards in Bath.

Tom was recognised for his dedication to the club and for bringing the community together through sport.

He will now go forward to compete for the national award at the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year in Sheffield.

Tom said he was "over the moon, absolutely over the moon" after winning the coveted prize.

He said the award was not just for him, but was for the others who have helped set the club up over the past three years.

"We've got a group at the boxing club that do exactly the same as me so this is an award for everyone at the boxing club, not just me."

Tom told BBC Bristol that he got the idea for the club while he was out with his son one evening.

We've got 15 nationalities in our club and everyone gets on great, the discipline is second to none: everybody mucks in
Tom Foley

"We were walking through Barton Hill, and there was some kids just kicking a bottle about.

"I started chatting to them and asked 'what would you like?' and one of them looked up and said a boxing club.

"I said leave it with me and we'll see what we can do.

"I bet the kids thought here we go, another promise. But within three weeks we'd found ourselves a hall and got ourselves going.

"A good friend of mine, Dave Grant, was an ex-boxer. I phoned Dave up and he never hesitated.

"Then we got Lin Gibb in to do all the stationary work and backstage work - and it's working brilliant."

Tom added that in the short time the club has been running they have been very busy.

"It takes them in off the streets and we're packed every night.

"We've got 15 nationalities in our club and everyone gets on great, the discipline is second to none: everybody mucks in."

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