Damien Lindsay named as BBC’s Get Inspired Unsung Hero for Northern Ireland

BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for Northern Ireland, Damien Lindsay, with sports reporter Thomas Kane.
BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for Northern Ireland, Damien Lindsay, with sports reporter Thomas Kane.

The winner of BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero for Northern Ireland 2015 has been named as Damien Lindsay from Belfast.

The Unsung Hero award honours individuals from the world of grassroots sport and recognises those who, on a voluntary basis, go the extra mile contributing to sport in their local community.

Damien set up football coaching for children in the St James area of west Belfast in an attempt to give young people an outlet to keep them occupied.

Despite the lack of proper football training facilities, Damien started up training sessions in the local park to encourage local youths into sport and keep them out of trouble.

Laura McGarry, who nominated him for the award, told the judging panel: “Damien decided to get a some of the young boys together to start a football team to keep them off the streets and out of any anti-social behaviour.

“It was all done his own time using his own money.

“His dedication to the youth is exceptional. They’ve grown from a small team, St James’ Swifts to having two teams.

“The first team excelled in their division and got promoted. Words could not describe the impact Damien’s work has had. He’s one in a million.”

Damien will be amongst 15 regional winners from across the UK, with the overall winner announced during the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Awards in Belfast on Sunday, December 20.

“It’s brilliant,” Damien said. “Sometimes one person gets picked out but I could pick you 10 unsung heroes out of everybody in St James’.

“People do work hard to keep the community spirit going.”

Shane Glynn, Managing Editor, BBC NI Productions, Northern Ireland, added:“We are delighted to announce Damien Lindsay as our Northern Ireland regional winner.

“The Unsung Hero Award aims to place the work of people like Damien firmly in the spotlight demonstrating the valuable work they carry out encouraging people across the UK to take up sport.

“You can find out whether Damien Lindsay goes on to be crowned as our Get Inspired Unsung Hero for 2015 at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, which will be broadcast live on BBC One on Sunday, December 20 from the SSE Arena in Belfast.”