On Saturday Dame Mary Peters CH, DBE teamed up with sports charity Join In and BBC Get Inspired to kick off the #BigThankYou, live from Waterworks parkrun in Belfast.
Now in its second year, the #BigThankYou is a celebration of grassroots sport, recognising the unsung heroes working relentlessly to make sport happen.
The main #BigThankYou event will take place on the red carpet at BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards as sporting greats are invited to call unsuspecting viewers who have made outstanding contributions to grassroots sport.
However, one lucky volunteer will receive a special Big Thank You in person ahead of the red carpet show.
Joining Mary Peters at Waterworks parkrun will be Paralympic triple gold medallist, Michael McKillop and former 5,000m world record holder David Moorcroft. Both will join Mary in thanking the volunteers at parkrun and try their hand at a few volunteer roles.
Mary Peters commented ahead of the event, “Waterworks parkrun is a great example of how sport can help build a solid community. The volunteers have played a huge part in the growth of this event and have created a fantastic environment that is accessible to everyone.
“Volunteers are at the heart of grassroots sport and have played a vital role throughout my career. I can’t thank them enough.”
The 2014 #BigThankYou was a great success as sports stars and viewers took to social media to publically thank the volunteers at their local sports clubs.
For further information on Join In visit joininuk.org.