UNITED Utilities is very proud to be backing these awards.

East Lancashire has a rich heritage of sport and the Grass Roots Heroes are the perfect way to highlight what is being achieved at local level.

Our aim is to work within the community and supporting these awards is an ideal way to build on those foundations.

We are committed and focused to working across the area, as we invest £160m in East Lancashire over the next five years to improve water and river quality.

We have already run many initiatives, such as the Green Partnership Awards, to offer funding and advice to community groups to improve the environment of Lancashire.

Grass Roots Heroes underline just how much it means to us to be a part of the community.

I’m delighted to see the 10 categories cover every aspect of amateur sports; from the stars of tomorrow to those stalwarts who have done so much over the years.

Our mantra has always been to work like a small company rather than be viewed as a company that works on a national scale. So supporting awards that reach the heart of the community is very important.

We want to strengthen those links and build on what we have already achieved.

Grass roots sport is all about commitment and determination and we are equally as dedicated to channelling our energies to support these worthy awards.