Bedford basketball coach Lance Haggith has been named the BBC Sports Unsung Hero for 2010 at the Sports Personality of the Year show in Birmingham.
The 50-year-old impressed the judges with his dedication to coaching, choosing him as the overall winner from the 15 regional winners across the UK.
"It's a great honour to have been chosen and I'm thrilled to receive the award," he said.
The award recognises the contribution of volunteers in grassroots sport.
"I'd like to say I receive this on behalf of all the volunteers who've helped me through the years to make sure sport is a level playing field for everyone," Haggith added.
"There's not enough recognition for volunteers - without them there's no backbone to this country. Be it working in sport or looking after a disabled relative, this award is for you. And thanks to my family for supporting me - I promise I'll take a couple of days off for Christmas."
Lance has been working with children and young people of all abilities, including disabled, vulnerable and disaffected youngsters, to provide support through basketball coaching, for the last 30 years.
He coaches youngsters at various teams, is the president of Bedfordshire Basketball Association and also set up two charities to support youngsters' participation in sport.
Runners up in the BBC Sports Unsung Hero category, in no particular order, were netball coach Liz Broomhead of Derbyshire, and coaches Carmel Gorman and Seamus McAnee of the City of Derry Swimming Club.
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