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First-ever Bluegrass Sports Awards to be handed out in February

Sports Commentator Tom Hammond spoked during a kickoff event for the sale of 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games tickets, held at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Friday, September, 25, 2009. The crowd counted down to exactly noon when the tickets went on sale for the WEG which starts one year from today at the Kentucky Horse Park.   Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Sports Commentator Tom Hammond spoked during a kickoff event for the sale of 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games tickets, held at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Friday, September, 25, 2009. The crowd counted down to exactly noon when the tickets went on sale for the WEG which starts one year from today at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff

The Bluegrass Sports Commission and Alltech are teaming up to honor achievement in Kentucky sports and celebrate the state's sports heritage.

The inaugural Bluegrass Sports Awards will be held on Feb. 15 at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa in Lexington.

The event will feature four awards highlighting the achievements of sports figures who have made a difference in the lives of Kentuckians.

The evening concludes with the Lexington Herald-Leader's announcement of the Kentucky Sportsman of the Year.

"Alltech is pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the first annual Bluegrass Sports Awards. These award recipients represent some of Kentucky's greatest ambassadors — individuals who have and continue to promote this state around the country and the world," said Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.

In the first of four awards to be presented that night, Lexington native Tom Hammond will receive Achievement in Sports Broadcasting honors for success in his profession and his commitment to the community.

Hammond has been one of NBC's top sportscasters for more than 30 years, while also serving as an ambassador for Lexington and the commonwealth. He has called events in nearly every sport around the world, including the NBA, NFL, NCAA, horse racing and the Olympic Games.

Also during the Bluegrass Sports Awards evening, a pair of recipients, whose names have not yet been released, will be honored with the first-ever Jim Host Awards, sponsored by KEMI.

The Jim Host Youth Sports Award will be given annually to a Kentuckian who has achieved great success in coaching, administering, volunteering or otherwise associating with youth and/or high school sports and who has had a positive impact on their community and the commonwealth.

The Jim Host Sports Business Award will be given annually to a Kentuckian who has achieved a high level of success in the sports industry and has had a positive impact in the state.

The Herald-Leader has recognized the Kentucky Sportsman of the Year annually since 1981, when Roy Kidd won the inaugural award. Voting is conducted by sports media from around the state and is coordinated by the Herald-Leader. Ten finalists will be revealed in the Feb. 12 Herald-Leader and on Kentucky.com.

"Sports is part of the fabric of Kentucky society and has been for many years," said Terry Johnson, executive director of the Bluegrass Sports Commission. "The Bluegrass Sports Awards will be a way for us to annually recognize individuals that have made tremendous contributions to Kentucky."

The event will consist of a VIP reception with award winners and keynote speakers, a sit-down dinner and a professionally produced awards program.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the BSC and its efforts to expand the economic impact sports tourism has on Central Kentucky.

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