This Sunday on BBC Radio London at 2pm, Danny Kelly will be announcing the winners of the station's Sports Awards for 2005. The categories include footballer, athlete, cricketer and rugby player of the year plus the usual team of the year and personality of the year (Kelly Holmes won last year).
Pretty standard stuff so far, but the awards also cast an eye on London's grass-roots sports scene, giving awards for best non-professional team and 'unsung hero' . It is the latter award which catches our eye, as it provides another reminder that in the face of a sometimes chronic lack of decent facilities and resources, grass-roots sport in the capital has to rely on dedicated adults who are consistently prepared to make sacrifices. These are the three people on BBC London shortlist...
Firstly Alan French. Alan has dedicated his time to forming and running the Barking Beavers Swimming Club. It is a club dedicated to teaching adults and children of various disabilities to swim and he has worked tirelessly as a teacher and competition official for approximately 25 years.
Robert " Basil " Dawkins
Secondly we have Robert " Basil " Dawkins. Basil set up Moberly Judo club in West London in 1997. He has established the club as one of the best junior clubs in Great Britain and many of the children he coaches come from backgrounds which can be described as " difficult ". Many cannot afford the fees but instead of letting them go, Basil has put his hand in his own pocket to ensure the children continue with the classes. Basil has become a father figure and a mentor to the children and he has done all this whilst holding down a full time job and having a young family of his own.
John " shakey " Lake
And finally John " shakey " Lake who has been involved with the West London Penguins Water Polo club for 50 years. He was an outstanding player in his own right before moving into coaching. He has given his time freely as a volunteer and kept the club going through difficult periods. John is still an active swimmer and recently got the third fastest time in the World at the Middlesex Championships in his age group.
We imagine that Alan French is feeling a little left-out due to his lack of a comedy nickname and is perhaps worrying that it might prevent him from winning. Only time will tell. Good luck to them all.
Last year's winner of the unsung heo award was Abdullah Ben-Kmayal, whose work in setting up Bethwin FC, is truly inspirational stuff.