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MP URGES CREATION OF VOLUNTEER CATEGORY IN BBC SPORTS COMPETITION

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An MP has called for the creation of a new category in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year competition to recognise the outstanding contribution made by 70,000 volunteer gamesmakers during the London 2012 Olympics. 

In a letter to BBC Director General Mark Thomson, Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart said:

“With outstanding success for so many teams of sporting superstars at the London 2012 Olympics, it is no easy task to single out a particular winner for the Sports Personality ‘Team of the Year Award’ 2012. 

“Amongst those in the running must be the cycling team of Sir Chris Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny whose gold-medal winning performance in the team sprint helped Sir Chris become Team GB’s most successful Olympian ever. Or there is the tremendous team effort of Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins which brought gold to Katherine at her fourth attempt.

“Scotland is rightly proud of its athletes who won a record-breaking number of medals, and the record number of 55 Scots who were in the team. Their success, and that of their colleagues in Team GB, has been phenomenal. 

“This was an Olympic Games with heart, and that’s thanks in large part to the warmth, enthusiasm and energy of the thousands of people who put their heart into making it an unforgettable experience for everyone. The well-named gamesmakers did not seek fame or favour – they worked for nothing but the knowledge they were a part of such a historic event. However small their role may have seemed, they knew they were an important part of something bigger – and showed exactly what teamwork is all about.

“While admittedly 70,000 people would be a tight squeeze in the BBC Sports Personality studio, every single one of the volunteers deserves recognition for their collective achievement in making the games such a sporting success.

“With such a wealth of sporting talent to choose from this year, the BBC should consider increasing the number of awards on the table to allow both athletes and volunteers to get the recognition they deserve. I can think of no worthier winner for a team achievement award for 2012 than the ‘Gamesmakers’ of the London Olympics 2012.”

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