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Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 16:54 UK

Bursaries for Unsung Heroes

Sports Personality of the Year
Venue: Liverpool Echo Arena Date: Sunday, 14 December Time: 1900 BST Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website.

Keith Everitt
Keith Everitt spent his bursary on his mixed football team
The 15 regional winners of the 2008 BBC Sports Unsung Hero awards will have the chance to apply for a special bursary of up to 2,500 each.

The bursaries, which are supported by Robinsons, are intended to benefit and further the work each Unsung Hero has been doing to help sport in their community.

It is up to each Unsung Hero to put together a proposal for how the money might best be spent. This proposal will be considered by a grant panel, which will assess it to ensure it is capable of demonstrating a measurable impact on the Unsung Heroes sporting work.

Examples of things the bursary might cover are sports equipment, construction/repair of facilities and/or court, pitch or venue hire. The bursaries cannot be used for administrative costs, social events, holidays, salaries or hospitality.

This is the second year that bursaries have been offered, and they have come in very useful. Denise Woollard from BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire spent her 2,500 on kitting out her blind ten-pin bowling team 'Foresight' in Grimsby.

Thanks to the bursary, standards of play have improved, the risk of injuries has been reduced, and lifted spirits at the club

Bursary beneficiary Denise Woollard

She purchased playing equipment, footwear and club shirts. Denise said: "Before buying the new equipment it was difficult to ensure that the teams were playing with the correct shoes and bowling balls. Thanks to the bursary, standards of play have improved, the risk of injuries has been reduced, and lifted spirits at the club".

Keith Everitt from BBC North East and Cumbria, runs a mixed football club in Hartlepool called St Francis 2000. He spent his bursary on footballs, cones, bibs and training aids essential to running the club and increasing the number of coaching sessions for the teams.

"The new equipment allows us to run more training sessions with the kids, which gives more young people in the area the chance to play," says Keith.

Bursaries are made at the grant panel's discretion and their decision is final. The grant panel will include representatives from BBC Sport, BBC Nations & Regions, the organisers and the sporting community, plus a legal adviser.

Denise Woollard
Denise Woollard kitted out her ten-pin bowling team with the bursary

Once any bursary has been awarded, the Unsung Hero will need to establish an appropriate audit trail to show how the money has been spent.

He or she will be encouraged to arrange for invoices to be sent to the grant panel, so the panel can pay for goods direct. The panel's specific approval will be required for any items of expenditure for which this is not possible.

The panel will also follow up on the success or otherwise of the bursaries, and each Unsung Hero will be asked to report back both on how the money has been spent and the difference it has made.

Bursaries will be awarded in good faith, and with the expectation that nothing connected to the bursaries or recipients will bring the BBC or the Award into disrepute. The grant panel may withdraw a bursary or bursaries if this is not the case.

Applications for bursaries should be submitted by Friday, 30 January 2009, and no applications will be considered after Friday, 20 November 2009.

see also
BBC Sports Unsung Hero 2008
01 Oct 08 |  Sports Personality
BBC Sports Unsung Hero award
06 Oct 08 |  Inside Sport
Nominate your regional Unsung Hero
08 Oct 08 |  Sports Personality
Bursaries for Unsung Heroes
16 Sep 08 |  Sports Personality
Unsung Hero bursary stories
21 Oct 08 |  Sports Personality

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