Nominate your incredible community champions for the 2024 Spirit of Sport and Recreation Award

Harvinder Kandola and The Duke of Edinburgh ()

The Alliance is delighted to announce that nominations are open for the 2024 Spirit of Sport and Recreation Award, to be presented at the Alliance’s autumn Annual General Meeting.

The Spirit of Sport and Recreation Award, formerly the Emeritus Award, has been presented for over 20 years, and celebrates volunteers in the sector who have dedicated their lives to getting the nation active.

We are now looking for nominations for the award from across our brilliant sector.

Nominating someone for this prestigious award couldn’t be simpler – just fill in the short form below, outlining the impact your nominee has made in their community through volunteering, before Friday 21 June at 23:59, when entries will close:



In 2023, the award was won by Harvinder ‘Babs’ Kandola, for his work in his community to ensure that young people have the opportunity to benefit from the power of sport and recreation through over 35 years of volunteering.

Across those years, he has been involved in countless programmes and initiatives, and in the 1980s set up the town’s first Asian football club, Khalsa under-9s, which now fields sides from the ages of nine to 16. Babs also arranges an annual charity cricket match, which honours Conrad Lewis – one of their youth footballers who was sadly killed in Afghanistan in 2011 – to financially support returning soldiers.

Realising that his skills set could transcend different sports, in 2014 Babs turned his attention to boxing – working alongside established coaches at a local club and secured his own England Boxing coaching badges. In 2019, he began the process of setting up the new Leamington Boxing Club and spent the summer refitting the new headquarters, with countless volunteer hours from the local community and tradespeople making the project possible.


Harvinder Kandola speaking at 2023 AGM ()


On receiving the award last year, Babs said:

“The backbone of this are the kids – they’re the ones that come through the door and do all the hard work. I get the nice bit, I get to stand here, but you know what they’re doing now? They’re cleaning the club and getting ready for tonight. The whole community is involved with our club.

“If you break down the word community, it’s a common unity. We should all stick together and look at all the good stuff that’s going on – that’s a great place to be.

“I really appreciate this, the whole club appreciates it. It means a lot, thank you.”