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Dedicated sports volunteers to get time in spotlight

With the 2010 Olympics right around the corner, all eyes are onCanada’s athletes, but a new program launched yesterday will honour theunsung heroes who make athletes’ successes possible.

With the 2010 Olympics right around the corner, all eyes are on Canada’s athletes, but a new program launched yesterday will honour the unsung heroes who make athletes’ successes possible.

Without volunteer coaches, the person who floods the outdoor hockey rink at two in the morning, or the person who runs fundraising bingos, many athletes would not be where they are today, said Ottawa West Nepean MPP Jim Watson.

Athletes “get medals and make us proud,” he said, “but there are people who allow us to succeed ... These are individuals that work tirelessly without any recognition.”

There are 380,000 sports volunteers in Ontario, putting in 167 million hours of volunteer time a year, Watson said.

Until Nov. 13, residents can recognize these people by nominating them for one of 25 community sports awards in each of Ottawa’s eight ridings. Those selected will receive a medal — designed by Watson — and a certificate during a ceremony in January.

“These awards will ... (give) them the recognition they deserve,” said Watson.

Residents can submit one-page nominations to their nominee’s MPP.

 
 
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