Leicester Mercury Sports Awards 2012: The stars mean business
The Leicester Mercury is set to launch its Sports Awards for 2012 next week.
Ahead of the launch, we are looking at the links the awards have forged with the county's business community.
Loughborough marketing and event management firm Champions UK (Plc) has already been announced as the headline sponsor, while 14 other organisations have stepped forward to back the various individual categories.
A number have been involved with the awards in the past, including pension and wealth management group Mattioli Woods. Last year, the Enderby company sponsored the Club of the Year Award, which was won by City of Leicester Swimming Club.
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Chief executive Ian Mattioli said: "We are happy to be involved in the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards for a second year running as we believe it is essential to recognise sporting talent in Leicestershire.
"Leicester is renowned for its sporting heritage, with great sports facilities, clubs that are known all over the world and a thriving local sport scene.
"In addition, we have witnessed some Olympic success from the county this summer, which has brought a great sense of pride to us all."
Mr Mattioli said the sporting outlook for the county was bright. "This season has started well for Leicester City and Leicester Tigers continue to have a stronghold on rugby's Premiership," he said. "We feel that events such as the Sports Awards are important to recognise talent, which will in turn continue the local sporting legacy and inspire the next generation.''
Other sponsors, such as Heat Holders – a revolutionary thermal sock brand invented by Whetstone hosiery company David James – are supporting the awards for the first time. "Everyone at Heat Holders is delighted to be sponsoring the Community Award," said David James chief executive David Doughty.
"More and more I come to realise that great sporting success is very similar to success in the boardroom. It takes guts, passion, imagination, creativity and flair. But it also takes a sound strategy, people skills and diplomacy, and great team work.
"Without community sport projects, the many sportspeople who achieve great things in Leicestershire would never have been able to reach their potential.
"For businesses, giving something back to the community is vital and this award celebrates those who have helped their local community achieve great things."