Dunmow karate coach is in the running to be crowned Unsung Hero for the BBC Sports Personality awards

Andrew Turner being filmed at Stansted Airport.

Andrew Turner being filmed at Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

One of Dunmow’s top karate coaches is fighting it out to be crowned Unsung Hero for the BBC Look East Sports Personality awards.

Andrew Turner, 52, of Tenterfields, is in the running against two others to win the prestigious accolade. He was shortlisted for the award after being nominated by people he has coached in the past.

The father-of-two, who is a firefighter at Stansted Airport, has dedicated 30 years of his life to teaching the sport. Not only is he the chief instructor at Dunmow Kyokushinkai Karate Club, for the past 15 years he has taught junior and cadet Great Britain and England teams.

Speaking about the moment he found out he had been shortlisted for the award, he told the Broadcast: “I was so shocked, it is not something you ever expect. Especially something as big as this.

“But I do not do what I do for the recognition or awards, I do it because I love it and I love seeing the children progress. It is very rewarding, especially when you see their confidence grow.

“The stuff we teach them stays with them throughout their lives. It helped me get my job as a firefighter at Stansted Airport.”

The Unsung Hero honour is awarded to someone who has carried out outstanding work in their local sporting communities.

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On Tuesday, film crews from the BBC dropped by Stansted Airport and the karate club, at the Dunmow Leisure Centre, to film him in action.

“It was so nerve-racking. I was not sure if I said the right things,” Andrew added.

The clip will appear on BBC Look East this evening (Thursday).

Tomorrow Andrew will find out if he will be joining other regional winners at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, in Glasgow, on December 14. He said: “It would be amazing if I did win but I do not think I will. There are a lot of other people out there who do a lot of good things.”

Next year Andrew will be taking a back seat from his role with the GB and England teams to spend more time with his family.

He said: “I would carry on but my family and spending time with them is more important now.”