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Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 17:08 UK

Graeme McDowell backs BBC's 2010 Unsung Hero Award

Graeme McDowell talks about the influence of his own personal unsung hero - his uncle Uel

Graeme McDowell has launched the BBC Sports Unsung Hero Award in Northern Ireland to search for and honour people from the world of grassroots sport.

Nominations can be made for volunteers who go the extra mile to change the lives of others through sport and who deserve to be recognised.

Nominations for the 2010 award can be made at bbc.co.uk/sportsunsunghero using a printable form.

The overall winner will be selected from the various regional winners.

Graeme, who this year won the US Open, says his own unsung heroes, parents Kenny and Marion, made him the success he is today.

Graeme said: "It is hard for me to single out one person as an unsung hero. There are so many people who have helped me get to where I am.

"But there are three people I would like to mention, First are my parents. Mum and dad have sacrificed so much and supported me in every way, both on and off the golf course, since the day I was born.

They always have been and always will be there to support me, and I just cannot thank them enough.

"Also my Uncle Eul, who not many people know was my first golf coach. Eul was there when I began swinging a golf club, and laid the all-important foundations that led to where my golf game is today.

"Golf is nothing without the fundamentals - he taught them with precision, and much more. Little did Eul know where it would all lead to, or did he?"

Nominees for Unsung Hero 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 nations sports staff, local sporting figures and other independent community figures, with a winner being picked by that judging panel.

If you know someone who deserves to be a Sports Unsung Hero, please complete the following form:

Nomination form (Word document)

Send the completed form before the closing date of Friday, 29 October 2010 to:

Mark Sidebottom,
Sports Unsung Hero 2010,
Sports Department,
BBC Broadcasting House,
Ormeau Avenue,
Belfast,
BT2 8HQ.

Or e-mail your nomination form to mark.sidebottom@bbc.co.uk.

To enter, you must ensure all the sections are filled in. Any nomination that doesn't include details of the nominee cannot be accepted.

Your nominee must be informed and have agreed to being entered, nominees may be asked to appear on BBC TV and/or radio.

The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding their decision.

The competition complies with the BBC's Code of Conduct on Competitions and Voting. For full Terms and Conditions, click here.

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 in December, where the overall BBC Sports Unsung Hero winner is announced.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 will be broadcast live on BBC One on Sunday 19 December from 1900 BST.



see also
Rowing coach Platt wins BBC award
26 Nov 09 |  Northern Ireland
Frank a knockout as Unsung Hero
26 Nov 08 |  Sports Personality
Red letter day for Michael
22 Nov 07 |  Sports Personality


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