A chance to celebrate sport - National Lottery Awards nominations open

5 Feb 2009 03:07 PM

Nominations are now open for the 2009 National Lottery Awards - a chance to celebrate and raise the profile of Lottery-funded sports projects.

All Lottery-funded projects - large or small - can be nominated by the public or can enter themselves. Competition for the best sports project is likely to be fierce as Sport England has awarded Lottery funding to more than 400 projects in the past year alone.

The awards, launched by Strictly Come Dancing star Lisa Snowdon, are an opportunity to highlight the difference grassroots sport is making in communities across the country and to showcase best practice in increasing and sustaining participation.

Get Active in The Forest, a programme which received Lottery-funding from Sport England, won the best sports project award last year.

Debbie Chesterman, Development Manager for the project, which offers sports such as archery, cycling, orienteering and laser clay shooting, said:

"Winning a National Lottery Award raised our profile more than we could ever have imagined and gave our volunteers a real boost. We've had a lot of new participants coming forward and taking part in taster sessions. After that, we offer six-week beginners’ courses with coaches and then help people join sports clubs. Lottery funding has helped make our work sustainable and I would definitely encourage everyone to nominate their projects - it could be you!"

The awards have seven categories, each reflecting an area of Lottery funding. Sport England invested in two of last year’s three finalists in the sports category - with the Sunderland Aquatics Centre joining Get Active in the Forest in the last three. Click here to watch videos about last year’s finalists.

Projects will compete in two rounds of public voting and the short-listed projects will go through to the finals, where the winning projects will be announced in a live BBC1 TV show. Each winner will receive a £2,000 prize to spend on their project. The first round of public voting will open on 22 June and close on 10 July 2009. The second round will take place between 3 August and 14 August 2009.

Nominations can be made by calling 0845 070 0112 or online using the button below.

Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 13 March 2009.

Since The National Lottery began nearly 15 years ago, over £22 billion has been invested in projects across the UK. National Lottery players raise £25 million a week for good causes.