I have to admit, running the Grassroots Heroes Awards is pretty hard work, stressful even.

But it is good hard work and what’s a bit of stress between friends.

The awards are now in the fourth year and it is something I am immensely proud of and very grateful to United Utilities who have sponsored each and every one of those four events.

Launching it means a flurry of activity; writing and re-writing, designing and re-designing, interviewing and (hopefully not re-interviewing!).

Then there is the small matter of keeping tabs on who has entered – and that entry list gets bigger and harder to shorten each year.

And finally it is the awards themselves, where I become part journalist, part events co-ordinator.

It is hard work but it just a fracture of the effort and dedication people put in that makes amateur sport so special in this area.

I might moan about a few long days and late nights, but we are dealing with people who have put 20, 30, 40 years of dedication in to local sport – commitment that sees the teams of the year and the young sports personality winners benefit.

Awards like these are just great for local amateur sport and may they – and the hard work – continue!