BBC London Unsung Hero - Matt Lovell

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Prior to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, the BBC also awarded several Unsung Hero awards in 14 regions of the UK, and Waltham Forest's own Matt Lovell was named BBC London's Unsung Hero for 2013.

Over the past eight years, Matt has dedicated all of his spare time (and probably hours of his work life) to promoting sport in Waltham Forest. His main focus has been on encouraging participation in Hockey both locally in Waltham Forest and across the East Region by offering a junior competition framework to ensure that children can enjoy competitive matches and have events to build up to throughout the year regardless of their ability level.

He runs the junior section at Waltham Forest Hockey Club and has persuaded 20 coaches to give up their time throughout the week to provide training to children from ages two and up. He also instigated the club’s now annual adult beginner’s courses in 2010 and takes hockey to the local community in schools and events during the year. Add to this captaining the club’s academy team and umpiring adult fixtures, it’s amazing he finds the time to do anything else, and now he's been recognised for his efforts by BBC London.

He said after being presented his award at the club, “This award is recognition of the time all of our volunteers have given up over the years. With the club having grown so much over the years and without so many of our members committing their time to helping out, we wouldn’t be able to offer hockey for free in the way that we do.

“For me hockey and team sport in general offers a great opportunity for children to interact with other kids their own age and learn all sorts of life skills. At Waltham Forest Hockey Club we aim to encourage anyone, irrespective of age or ability the chance to try hockey and hopefully enjoy a new sport.”

While we have our own England Hockey Awards, that’s only one chance in a year to let us know about who you think has really added value to the hockey community and we’d like to hear more. 

Matt was nominated by his club (who sent us their form) for the Unsung Hero Award, and because of that we're able to showcase one of our brilliant volunteers who makes our sport tick. Do you know someone who has worked tirelessly to improve their club or team, or has inspired you or others in hockey? Let us know at who's your own 'unsung hero' (you can use the BBC's form to make it easier), and then we can let people know about the great contributions that you and others make to sport and hockey!

Source: Waltham Forest HC