Nearly 50 years of volunteering has been rewarded after 71-year-old Colin Magee of Burbage, Leicestershire won the title of BBC East Midlands Today Sports Unsung Hero 2013. Colin has got thousands of young people into sailing, breaking down the idea that it’s only a sport for the well off.
Colin was given the award at a surprise presentation on Tuesday morning and was reduced to tears. “I am absolutely overwhelmed. It is just something I do. I get people on the water. It is something I can share. And if I can get just one young person off the streets and away from trouble than I have done something.”
He is the driving force behind the Leicestershire and Rutland Youth Sailing Team, running courses for schools and youth groups and entering teams into Regattas.
Colin is also a key figure in fund raising activities, making sure there are boats available for use and suitable sailing clothing. He charges no membership fee and offers free instruction. When he’s not on the water, he’s maintaining boats to the highest possible standard.
The award organiser, Mark Shardlow of BBC East Midlands, said: “Colin is a fantastic example of someone who has given time and effort to help others play sport. He has clearly had a major impact on sport in the East Midlands. The judging panel were particularly impressed that he’s recruited so many volunteers to act as coaches, judges and committee members to ensure the club has a legacy.”
Graham Chilvers, from Hinckley and Bosworth District Counil, nominated Colin. He said: “In Colin’s eyes everyone can have fun sailing. He has a singular ability to motivate and inspire. He is a very special man.”
Colin now moves on to the national final. The results will be revealed at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award on Sunday 15th December live on BBC One.