Waiting is nearly over for the county's sporting stars
The waiting will be over tonight when the winners of the 2012 Leicester Mercury Sports Awards are announced.
The county's sporting Oscars once again received outstanding support from the public, with an incredible array of sports represented in the nominations received.
It seems fitting that in a year when the likes of Jessica Ennis, Laura Trott, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds shone on the Olympic and Paralympic stage, it was the Young Sportswoman category which provoked the most debate among the Mercury's judging panel when it met before Christmas.
Such was the high quality of the nominees that the judges opted to select four finalists rather than the usual three.
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Lucy Garner, the winner is 2011, is joined by her younger sister and fellow cyclist Grace, while swimming is represented by the outstanding duo of Sophie Smith and Harriet Cooper, both previous award winners.
The popularity of the category is a terrific result for Loughborough College, who are sponsoring the Young Sportswoman category for a second consecutive year.
"We have a strong reputation in sport and a long record of educating and supporting young athletes," said college principal Esme Winch.
"We like to support young sportswomen, too," she said. "We tend to find that they don't have the highest profiles unless they are at the top of their sport, such as Jessica Ennis."
Tonight will provide a first taste of the Mercury Sports Awards for the Loughborough principal, who moved to the area in September.
"I'm looking forward to celebrating the achievements of all the finalists, not just those in our category," she said.
"One thing that has struck me since I came to Loughborough is how much sport is part of the region's DNA.
"After the Olympics, I think we all need to take a deep breath but make sure that we keep the momentum going and are able to inspire the next generation.
"We have to make sport accessible, and not just to the elite athletes. It is also about the benefits it can offer in terms of career opportunities for people."
There are 14 winners to be announced this evening, which tales place at Leicester Tigers' Welford Road stadium.
The event will culminate in the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second time that this category has been included.
Former Leicester City footballer and Leicestershire cricketer Graham Cross was the inaugural winner in 2011.
To find out the award winners see tomorrow's paper. Also, check out a 16-page awards special on Tuesday.