Sports Awards 2012: 'Encourage sporting heroes at all levels'
The recognition of teams at all levels is one of the reasons RSM Tenon are again supporting the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards.
The business advisory company are backing the Team of the Year category in Leicestershire's 'Sporting Oscars' and will discover on January 17 who succeeds Leicestershire Foxes as winners.
The county cricketers' success at the 2011 presentation night went down particularly well with Chris Darlington, managing partner of RSM Tenon Leicester, who is a Foxes' supporter.
Mr Darlington said: "They were deserving winners given their achievement in lifting the T20 trophy. That was the right decision.
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"It was great to see them getting recognition. The awards evening was very good. It was very well done and the run-up to it was well-publicised.
"There was a good cross-section of entrants from different sports and disciplines with first-class cricket represented, non-league football and other smaller teams and clubs.
"I think it is important to get that breadth of sport represented. We have to encourage grassroots teams and players.
"For those guys to get on the stage at the Mercury Awards and be involved in the publicity and the evening itself should only encourage people to get involved, whether they are playing or supporting.
"It isn't just about Leicester City, Leicester Tigers or the County cricket club, either. If it is, then it all becomes a bit elitist."
Last year's event, staged at the Tigers' Welford Road home, was organised for the first time by Champions (UK) PLC.
Mr Darlington said: "I think they took it to a different level and we felt that we wanted to be involved again."
Like most of the country, Mr Darlington enjoyed his fair share of Olympic viewing during the summer but, as a keen cyclist, the highlight of his sporting year was seeing Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France.
"To become the first British rider to win the Tour de France has to be one of the achievements of the last 20 years. Not only that but he won it in such style with the support of Team Sky.
"For him to then go and win the Olympic time trial gold medal just over a week later was an amazing feat.
"I think it has led to more awareness of cycling which is good to see."