Co Derry swimmer and Belfast hockey player among those vying for BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero award
Two sporting volunteers from the north are among eight in the running to be the overall winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero award.
The category recognises those who go above and beyond to make a positive impact on grassroots sport in their areas.
Among those finalists hoping to take the award, Mary O’Hagan from Ballyronan, Co Derry . She has become a mental health swim coach after initially taking up cold water swimming to improve her own mental health. She had suffered from depression and anxiety after the birth of her first two children, who were born blind.
Seventeen-year-old Anna Pim from Belfast has set up a programme called ‘At The Heart Of the Game’ to equip hockey clubs and participants with information on coronary safety. She also coaches hockey at her club Pegasus and Methodist College, where she is a student, at under-11 and under-13 level.
They will be hoping to follow in the footstep of Damien Lindsay, of St James Swifts Football Club in west Belfast, who was a winner of the award in 2015 when the ceremony took place in Belfast's SSE Arena.
Mike Alden, who was diagnosed with brittle bone disease at the age of four, is in the final eight in recognition of his work in Bristol where he has set up Park Knowle FC, a football club in a deprived part of the city which is open to all ages and abilities.
Rukhsana Hussain works within the community in Leicester to encourage Muslim women to participate in sport, while Nooh Omar Ibrahim has been shortlisted for his work in sport development with the Welsh Rugby Union and Cardiff City Council.
He also runs games of street cricket in some of Cardiff’s most deprived areas for people with mobility, isolation and diabetes issues.
Dave Thompson from Aberdeen works with children from some of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods. His work with the StreetWork network has helped bring sport sessions to the city and he works with young people with challenging emotional and educational needs.
Helen Thornton, who is from Ipswich, has worked to resettle Ukrainian families in the UK who are known to the eastern European country’s badminton federation.
Becca Todd, from Bristol, set up Team Brave for girls and women in the city. The group trains every Wednesday and is intended to be fully inclusive, with an emphasis on improving mental health and confidence.
The winner of the award will be announced during the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony starting at 6.45pm on Wednesday, December 21.