There are always two sides to a story and last night's ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall proved the point. In my home city we've had a gutful of shootings and other malicious crimes. Last night I joined Radio Merseyside's Alan Jackson in hosting the City of Liverpool annual sports awards. The city honours all the young sports contestants who have won national championships or represented their country. Dozens of talented kids were there, from sports as varied as football and tae-kwon-do, cricket and trampolining, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. The hard work which the youngsters put in on a daily basis is awe-inspiring, personified by Katarina Thompson who has won a breathtaking array of athletics events and tops the UK under-20 rankings in the pentathlon, heptathlon and high jump despite still being in the under-17 age group. Katarina was named the city's Young Sports Personality of the Year and I predict she will become known far outside Liverpool in years to come.
It was also great to see top sports names turning out to support the youngsters - Phil Thompson, Sammy Lee, Derek Mountfield, Beth Tweddle, Mike Watkinson and ex Sports Minister Richard Caborn all helped made it a fabulous evening under the spectacular chandeliers of Liverpool Town Hall.
This blog doesn't make a habit of plugging sponsors, but it is well worth giving Capita a pat on the back for their backing on this occasion. Sponsorship of mega events like the Premier League is attractive because your name is known everywhere, but providing some cash to help an event like last night's is never going to win huge headlines. That's what makes this sponsor's support even more valuable. If we don't invest in our kids, we'll all be the losers.