King Harald has handed out the Norwegian Sports Prize to the most passionate volunteer of the Year. The presentation took place during an audience at the Palace and was shown on TV on January 9th 2021. This year’s winner of the prestigious prize was Finn-Magne Simonsen.
More than 400 people with different positions in sports were nominated for the award this year. Among these, the jury selected eleven county nominees. Finn-Magne Simonsen was the candidate for the Nordlan sports district, and it was he who the jury finally chose. Since this year’s Sports Gala is digital, the presentation had to take place before the Norwegian Sport Gala in an audience at the Royal Palace.
When in his 20s, Finn-Magne Simonsen became involved in sports and volunteer work, and after more than 50 years, he is still involved in his home village of Bjerkvik north of Narvik. He played active football until he was in his mid-30s, and all three of his children have been involved in several sports. Simonsen has worked at Narvik Stadium, has been the manager of Bjerkvik swimming hall and managed Bjerkvik Association of Sports. He has also been the general manager of Mjølner Football team and he led the house committee for the construction of Bjerkvikhallen sport centre, and is now the leader of a bicycle race in Bjerkvik.
The Norwegian sports gala is the Norwegian Sport Association`s event to pay tribute to the sports heroes who give us unforgettable moments. Every year, athletes, teams, coaches and one passionate person who made an extraordinary effort the year before are recognized. From the very beginning in 2002, the Sports Gala has been broadcast live on TV, but due to Covid-19, this year’s gala had to go digital. The pandemic has made 2020 a different year for sports, as for the rest of the world community.
His Majesty King Harald received the honorary award during the Sports Gala in 2011. King Harald received the award for his commitment and work for Norwegian sports. He is also Norwegian sports’ high protector. King Harald is also often present during sporting events and competitions. In his speech of thanks, he emphasized the efforts of the volunteers in sports Norway.