The Sunshine Coast Lightning Local Legends Awards, presented by Unitywater as this year’s Community Partner, will recognise those who go above and beyond to better their local communities, along with the lives of others.

The awards will celebrate people like 12-year-old Plastic Free Noosa advocate, Jarrah Small – who spends her spare time cleaning up beaches and rivers – for their tireless efforts, at one of seven home Lightning games this season.

Sunshine Coast Lighting Chief Executive Officer Danielle Smith said entries for the awards were now open and encouraged everyone to nominate a Local Legend they know, of any age across the Sunshine Coast.

“We are surrounded by individuals who go above and beyond to positively impact our community and the Local Legends Awards provides a platform for us to highlight and celebrate these incredible contributions,” Ms Smith said. 

“We look forward to seeing a wide-ranging selection of nominees, from long-serving volunteers, quiet achievers in the community and everyday people doing extraordinary things on the Coast.”

The seven Local Legends will be invited to attend a 2021 Lightning home game where their community contributions will be publicly acknowledged and celebrated.

The winners will also have the opportunity to meet Lightning player and 2020 Community Champion Laura Scherian on court post match, as well as an invite to the Club’s end of year Community Thank You event.

Unitywater Executive Manager Customer and Community Katherine Gee said the awards would also aim to highlight those who share the utility’s commitment to improving the environment.

“As custodians of the environment, we’re also strongly encouraging nominations for people like Jarrah who go the extra mile to help save our most precious resource, water, or help keep our waterways or the animals that call them home, healthy,” Ms Gee said.

“We know that there are lots of Local Legends across our region, and after a tough year for many, we want to shine a light on these people and celebrate the essential work they do for the community.

“We’re also thrilled to partner with the Sunshine Coast Lightning for another year as their Community Partner, and commend the team on their legendary efforts in being positive role models both on and off the court.”

Jarrah said she hoped the awards may help motivate more people to make a positive difference.

“I think it’s a great initiative and could help inspire others to think about how they can give back too,” she said.

“I know so many great volunteers who would be worthy of this award but would never consider themselves to be legends even though that’s exactly what they are.”

For more information or to nominate a Local Legend, visit sunshinecoastlightning.com.au/local-legends-awards