Posted: Tue, 17 Nov 2015 09:22
Pete Harris of Ibstock United wins BBC Unsung Hero 2015 for the East Midlands.
A volunteer football coach from Ibstock in Leicestershire was last night announced as the BBC East Midlands Get Inspired Unsung Hero for 2015.
Pete Harris was presented his award at a surprise presentation in Coalville, on Monday 16November. This award means he goes forward in the final of the national competition where the overall winner will be announced live on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award on BBC One on Sunday 20 December.
Pete is a volunteer coach at Ibstock United Junior Football Club. He also helped to set up and run the Leicester Futsal League, which now has 65 teams. In addition, he sets up training days for coaches at both his club and those in the area as well as advising clubs on child protection and safety.
Pete Harris said: "I'm shocked. It's fantastic. But the reason I do it is to put smiles on faces and to coach kids. But this award is unbelievable and I am very grateful."
The Awards Organiser, Mark Shardlow of BBC East Midlands, said: "Pete's voluntary work totally bowled over the judging panel". Marion Hayton of the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA, described him as 'One in a Million volunteer' and we can see why".
The judges were also impressed with the way he helped one of his young players, Josh Walker, and family.
When Josh was eight years old he was in a serious car accident which left him in hospital for 3 months. Pete was a regular visitor who collected goodwill messages from far and wide. He supported the family and helped raise money for them. When it became clear Josh wouldn't be able to get back in the team, Pete set up an inclusive squad at Ibstock for all juniors who had some kind of disabilities.
Josh Walker said: "He's made sure no one feels left out. He's helped with confidence and teamwork. He improves people as well as coaching football."