When nominations opened for the Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards – which is due to unfold on Thursday 24 October at Edgbaston Cricket Ground – thirteen exciting categories were made available for sportspeople of all ages, levels and disciplines to enter into.
Among them is the Junior Team of the Year award which encourages nominations from any school, college or youth team from the West Midlands that believes they have excelled in their sporting area – no matter what it may be.
The category accounts for 11-19-year olds and entrants will be judged on their overall successes, their ability to work as a collective and their dedication to enhancing the skills of not only themselves but their teammates too.
All entries made before the closing date of Friday 13 September will be passed to a panel of expert judges whose job it will be to select three finalists to attend the special awards ceremony in October.
Here, the winning team will be announced and presented with a trophy. And as well as earning bragging rights for a year, they will also reap the benefits of being part of a professional awards ceremony complete with a three-course dinner, Champagne reception (for the over 18s among them) and the chance to mingle with other sportspeople from the local area.
Presenting this award on the night is hosting venue and category sponsor Edgbaston Cricket Ground who recently hosted the World Cup semi-final between England and Australia.
The stadium, which is the home of the Warwickshire County Cricket Club, has hosted many a pivotal team success making it a fitting supporter of a sporting event such as this.
Ben Seifas the Commercial Partnerships Manager at Edgbaston explained their involvement.
“At Edgbaston we understand the hard work and dedication required to have an active participation in sport, from playing to being part of the planning,” he said.
“Not only do we see the effort put in by the players and staff at Edgbaston, but through our Warwickshire Cricket Board we also have an active involvement in grassroot sports in the local community.
“These awards provide the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the unsung heroes in sport and reward them for the time they sacrifice to sport in the West Midlands.”
While the winning decision is out of his hands, Mr Seifas clearly passionate about the opportunities the awards present, went on to detail what he hopes will shine through in the team eventually chosen.
“In sport, success is often measured by statistics, scores, wins or results on a playing field,” he added.
“The winners of the Junior Team of the Year should represent more than just numbers; they should be rewarded for outstanding dedication or resilience and recognised for playing their chosen sport with the right ethos and spirit.
“The definition of a team is ‘a group of people that come together to achieve a common goal’ and the award winners should depict this, having shown unity to work together and triumph.”
And when it comes to sport as a whole, he also has a clear idea of what it takes to succeed at all levels.
“The most obvious attributes required to be successful in any chosen sport is the physical capabilities, endurance and stamina to excel. However, the more unspoken mental skills required to triumph are arguably the more important and difficult to overcome.
“Maintaining a positive attitude, motivation, concentration and self-belief through sport can pose a challenge to many sportspeople and having the mental toughness to overcome these obstacles is what forms the basis of any success in sport.”
Edgbaston join the likes of other prominent West Midlands-based businesses who have extended their support to the sporting event, including Western Power Distribution, The Lord’s Taverners, Birmingham City University and Gray Paul to name just a few.