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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Tuesday, 14 December 2010
BBC East Sports Unsung Hero 2010 winner announced
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Lance Haggith is BBC East's Unsung Sporting Hero

A dedicated servant of basketball clubs in Bedfordshire has won the BBC East Sporting Unsung Hero award for 2010.

Lance Haggith has been working with children and young people of all abilities to provide support through basketball coaching for the last 30 years.

He coaches youngsters at various teams including Bedford Lions, Sharnbrook Lions and Luton Lions.

The 50-year-old also set up the Bounce Back charity, and works as a volunteer for other charities and groups.

These include Children in Care, Spurgeons, Carers in Bedfordshire, The Rainbow Autism group, Mel's Angels and the IYSS, which helps ex-offenders and prisoners rehabilitate through sport.

He also set up the Sports Traider charity to provide sports equipment to people who would not be able to play sport because of the cost.

Final

Lance, of Bromham, Bedford, was announced as the winner of the BBC Sports Unsung Hero award 2010 for the East on December 14th on BBC Look East. Lance now progresses to the national Unsung Hero final as the regional winner for the East.

He said: "It's a great honour to have been chosen as the BBC Sports Unsung Hero for the East, and I'm thrilled to receive the award.

Bedford coach is unsung finalist

"Basketball has always been a passion of mine and it wasn't until I was coaching some youngsters from disadvantage backgrounds that I realised they were not getting the same opportunities as my four children and I wanted to do something about it.

"I feel I'm putting smiles on people's faces and that I'm achieving something by volunteering my time."

Lance was one of three finalists for the BBC East Sports Unsung Hero award, which included 52-year-old boxing coach John Daly who founded and runs the Far Cotton Club in Northampton, and 47-year old rugby coach Rory Finlayson from the Shelford club in Cambridge.

BBC East sports awards producer Shaun Peel, BBC East, said: "Lance really impressed us with his many years of dedication to helping people from all backgrounds to enjoy basketball and improve their lives.

"He is passionate about sport and his unselfish dedication of his time to youngsters and those in need is what the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award is all about."

Now in its eighth year, the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award recognises and rewards outstanding contribution by individuals at the grassroots level of local sport, who give up their time on a voluntary basis so that sport can be played and enjoyed by people throughout the UK.

Overall winner

A winner is chosen in each BBC English Region and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each winner then gets the chance to join the sporting stars of today at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 at Birmingham's LG Arena on 19th December, where the overall BBC Sports Unsung Hero winner is announced.

Last year's overall winner was Doreen Adcock from Milton Keynes. Doreen is club leader for Quest Swimming Club and Carlton Youth and Swim Club and has taught 13,000 people to swim, going the extra mile to change the lives of others through sport.




SEE ALSO
Celebrate unsung sporting heroes
29 Sep 10 |  TV & Radio
Swimming teacher wins Unsung Hero
13 Dec 09 |  Sports Personality

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