Sophia Hayes, sales and advertising manager at Inspirational Magazine
Sophia Hayes, sales and advertising manager at Inspirational Magazine
 

With nominations now closed, we have been struck by the level of support the organisers, Champions (UK) plc, have received from businesses wishing to lend their help in ensuring the awards are again a roaring success.

Ceremonies such as these are a real team effort and last year’s inaugural event would not have flourished as it did without the involvement of both the public at large and that of its sponsor organisations.

In the run up to the Awards we have been speaking to the sponsors of the 13 different award categories to explore the reasons behind their support and to get their take on the sporting scene in the West Midlands.

This week Sophia Hayes, Sales and Advertising Manager of Inspirational Magazine , took time out from her busy schedule to lift the lid on why she chose to sponsor this year’s Amateur Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Sophia told us: “The sporting arena has many parallels with real life and sportspeople can play an important role in inspiring the rest of us to strive for success in our work and personal lives.

“I think it is, therefore, a very positive move to celebrate the successes of the West Midlands sporting community and help demonstrate clearly what can be achieved with commitment, application and skill.”

She is clear about the impact she feels the Awards will have on sporting environment of the region, saying: “By shining a spotlight on sporting endeavour, the Birmingham Sports Awards offers us the opportunity to inspire people, young and old, to get involved and to become more active.”

“There are obvious health benefits to exercise but getting stuck in to sports can also foster team spirit, discipline and an improved work ethic.

“Recognising sporting achievement in Birmingham will hopefully bolster the city’s self-confidence and lead to even more success in the future.”

In choosing to celebrate amateur sportswomen, Inspirational Magazine recalls something of the Corinthian Spirit.

Sophia explained in more detail: “We first take up sport for the enjoyment factor not for monetary reward.

Sophia Hayes (left) with the 2013 Birmingham Sports Awards Young Sportswoman of the Year Hannah George (second right) and runners-up Lubjana Piovesana and Ffion Lewis (right), who is a nominee this year in the Amateur Sportswoman category.
Sophia Hayes (left) with the 2013 Birmingham Sports Awards Young Sportswoman of the Year Hannah George (second right) and runners-up Lubjana Piovesana and Ffion Lewis (right), who is a nominee this year in the Amateur Sportswoman category.
 

“In fact it has only been in relatively recent decades that the idea of professionalism in sports has become widespread. Before that people sought to attain the highest possible standards of performance without a thought for any additional benefit.”

“Often it seems we’ve lost touch with that element of the human spirit.

“In supporting the Amateur Sportswoman of the Year Award, Inspirational Magazine hopes to redress that balance in some way and recognise women who have worked hard at their chosen sport and achieved success purely for the love of what they are doing.”

“I’ve heard it said that ‘sport is life in microcosm’ and there is a lot of truth to that.

“I also think you could comfortably extend the metaphor to something equating to ‘sport is business in microcosm’ as both engage our natural competitive instincts and, for success to be achieved, both require discipline, team work and a strategic outlook.

“More often than not, individuals in both worlds need to be highly organised, well-motivated and to have the ability to display great leadership.

“Careful planning is important in every sphere of human activity but just as telling is the strength to realise the shortcomings of your system and adapt it to changing circumstances.”

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