The national grassroots sports awards received a near record-equalling number of entries this year with more than 1,100 nominations logged.

A total of 80 finalists across eight categories are now in the running for a share of prizes totalling more than $10,000. Voting closes on March 11.

Inside Sport's Clubbies is co-presented by the Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) – dedicated to supporting Australia's 90-plus national sporting organisations – and partnered by Sportscover.

In all, more than 30 sports are represented among the ranks of finalists. Inside Sport editor Kevin Airs said it was a “massive response” from club-land, especially given the hardship being experienced around the nation.

“Once again Clubbies highlights that grassroots clubs and their hardworking members are the lifeblood of communities big and small.

“After the devastating summer – the tragic fires and floods on top of years of drought – these stories remind us of the power sport has to unite, inspire and, in the bleakest times, hang in there.”

Of the sports represented by the finalists, rugby league leads with seven gongs closely followed by football and netball with six. Surf sports, athletics, hockey, softball and motorcycle sports each have four or more. And, for the first time, gliding, darts and wood chopping are represented in the deciding round.

The eventual winners will be decided by the public vote and an expert panel. The eight champs will then be notified ahead of a presentation luncheon next month where they will get to rub shoulders with sports industry leaders.