A PUBLIC health charity has opened nominations for its annual award ceremony later this year to celebrate contributions to sport.

The Active Braintree Foundation is calling for locals to come forward to tip individuals and organisations from across the district for prizes.

A spokesman said: “The awards, now in its sixth year, will recognise not only the sporting triumphs of 2019 but also the hard work and commitment from volunteers, coaches and schools."

Last year’s winners included Oli Cutmore from Braintree BMX Club walking away with Sports Personality of the Year for his outstanding international achievements despite an accident early in the season.

Oil is currently ranked eighth in the British Cycling over-23s category and recently competed at the BMX world championships in Belgium with 13 companions from the Braintree Bullets team.

Last year’s winners also included Great Bradfords infant and nursery school, which bagged the School of the Year award for introducing new, varied and inclusive after-school clubs.

In a joint statement, councillor Peter Tattersley and John Wood, chairman of the Active Braintree Foundation, said: “It’s excellent that we can honour our local sporting heroes for a sixth year running.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity to shine a light on those who show inspiring commitment, determination and talent across the sporting community. If you know anyone you think is deserving, this is a perfect opportunity to nominate them for a well-deserved award.”

Nominations are open for various categories, including Physical Activity Project of the Year, Sports Club of the Year, and Services to Disability Sport.

Meanwhile, volunteers and mentors will also be celebrated with the Unsung Hero and Sports Coach of the Year prizes, the latter of which is sponsored by this newspaper.

Other sponsors include Braintree Village and George Yard shopping centres.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, October 4.

Nominations can be made online at activeessex.org/abdn-awards. Paper copies of the nomination form can be requested by emailing active.braintree@braintree.gov.uk.

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Monday, November 18 at the Braintree Arts Theatre.