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A Reward for your Efforts :https://greenbaize1972.com/a-reward...mVKhAlg5wKx9wGUQBmdOXk-HZlcH4P6Mj1HnEt7DjrZZc
A Reward for your Efforts
By Elliott West
IntroductionSome of the greats of the sporting world gathered the other night to celebrate the 20th year of the Sport Industry Awards. This was the first time that the entire sports sector could come together since the outbreak of the pandemic 18 months ago. Hosted by Laura Woods and Mark Durden-Smith, the stars of the evening to be rewarded for their efforts were the footballer Marcus Rashford and former chairman of World Snooker, Barry Hearn.
Marcus RashfordThe England and Manchester United forward deservedly received the prestigious Integrity and Impact award for his fantastic work on and off the pitch, especially for his campaigning for free school meals, food banks and his fight against racism following the tragic death in the USA of George Floyd, working with causes such as Black Life Matters.
Although unable to attend on the night, Marcus appeared to the attendees via a video link, Rashford gave a very humble speech, thanking the judges for the award and reiterating how lucky he is to have the position he does in society and how sport can be a driving force in changing the way society governs and functions, especially to those who don’t have the loudest voice and who are hugely underrepresented. A scenario that has made him hugely driven and determined to help people out of poverty, something he knew too well as a child, where his family worried where the next meal would come from. Thoughts echoed by the former Paralympic Dame Tanni Grey Thompson.
Putting your head above the parapet as an athlete comes with some risk, and openly holding the Prime Minister and government to task is another level. Marcus’ voice has been prominent in the fight against racism and tirelessly campaigning against food poverty and for free school lunches forcing a government U-turn and bringing relief to thousands of families nationwide.”
Barry HearnBarry Hearn has been involved in sport since the 1970s, providing management in boxing, darts, gymnastics, pool and especially snooker. A man who has always been highly motivated and innovative, Hearn has revolutionised multiple sports and brought snooker back from the brink. Having worked as the chairman of Matchroom Sports for the last 40 years. Starting in humble surroundings in Romford, Hearn began with organising snooker tournaments, believing that could invigorate sport and help produce stars of the future. A burning ambition based on his own love of sport but unable to play any to a high standard.
On the night, Barry was presented by his son, Eddie, the Coutts Lifetime Achievement Award. He received a standing ovation and made a very powerful speech, including these words:
“In 1975 I started promoting the sport, I did it for one simple reason because I’m a failed sportsman. I love sport, I’m passionate about it. I always wanted to be a heavyweight champion or to play for England.
“I’ve ended up, since 1982, the Chairman and now the President of Matchroom Sport. We have given young men and women the opportunity to change their lives through sport. Irrespective of where they have come from, sport lets you get even against the world, and that’s what sport is about. It’s why we dedicate ourselves and go the extra mile and create a work ethic no one else can live with. Because we are special. Sport unifies the nation, irrespective of colour, creed, religion. Sport is all-embracing and we need it more than anything else through these difficult times.
“There are over 150 people in the Matchroom group and I want to thank every one of them because I wouldn’t be here without them, including my son who reminds me so much of me. He steals all my quotes, none of what Eddie says is original.
“To receive this award, I’m eternally grateful. Thank you.”
Other recipients on the night, included Sky Sports, Sport England and the Football Association. All deserving winners and so refreshing to be able to celebrate in a live event rather than the online presentation last year due to the pandemic. An event that shows how valued sportspersons are, the difference they can make and the unified community that exists within sport.
Barry Hearn receiving his lifetime achievement award.