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Community sport show wins national award

A Bristol radio show which focuses on community sport and minority groups has been recognised with a national award.

Bcfm’s The Midweek Sportsbar’ programme won the title of ‘Best Community Radio Show of the Year’ at the National Community Radio Awards, becoming the first sports show to win the category.

Producer Neil Maggs deliberately covers the stories of sporting stars rarely seen in the mainstream press – from disability climbing groups, to the achievements of older athletes.

“We are over the moon,” Maggs told Bristol 24/7. “This is reward for four years of breaking new ground. When we started the show, there was little, if any, coverage of community sport in the media. It started as an idea to change that.”

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“The sport media world is traditionally a very white male and middle class world – and in many regards it still is. Our mission has been about shining a light on a world not seen, but also lobbying the mainstream to do more.

“We receive this on behalf of every community sport organisation in the city.”

The show is presented by people who work and are involved in sport at community level.

The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees added his congratulations, saying: “I know from personal experience, appearing on the show, that The Midweek Sportsbar is unique.

Not only does it cover community sport stories in great depth, it uses the media as a vehicle for positive change. In telling the stories of minority sport and grassroots sports people, it does a jobs that mainstream sports shows have failed to do. All the presenters are diverse and reflect the communities they serve.

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“The media is as subject to elitism as any other I sector which is why this is so important, because good journalism is not just what stories you tell, but the authenticity of those who define and tell them.

“In 2017 Bristol is European City of Sport and I can see of no better way to celebrate this than the honouring of a radio show that has been approaching sport in a unique, informative and highly entertaining way for some time – taking sport itself out of its bubble and making the connection with wider city life.

“Neil Maggs and the team fully deserve the title and Bristol should be proud of this accolade.”

Do you know of a regional broadcaster or journalist who has gone the extra mile to support grassroots sport and physical activity in their local community? Let us know by emailing info@connectsport.co.uk. In January 2018, we will be relaunching ConnectSport and aiming to support and showcase more ‘community sport journalists’ like Neil Maggs.

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