SOME OF the biggest names in sport were honoured at a glittering awards ceremony on February 6.
F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill and boxing legend Frank Bruno were amongst the big winners at the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA).
The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA) was established by Sporting Equals in 2015, to celebrate sporting excellence within BME communities and help inspire the next generation.
Hamilton was crowned Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year while Jessica Ennis-Hill picked up the Sportswoman of the Year title. The Young Sports Person of the Year award was won by Aston Villa starlet, Easah Suliman.
FBruno was honoured with the Sporting Equals Lifetime Achievement Award while former footballer and equal opportunities campaigner, Paul Elliott CBE, won the University of Leicester special recognition Award.
The star studded awards event was held at JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, and were attended by sports personalities from across the country including IBF super-middleweight boxing champion James DeGale, former England star Sol Campbell and England Women’s international Eni Aluko.
The finalists were selected by a panel of expert judges including Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, former West Bromwich Albion favourite Brendon Batson and retired international athletes Derek Redmond and Jason Gardener.
Lycamobile are the title sponsor of the event and Subaskaran Allirajah, the Lycamobile chairman, said: “The BEDSAs rightly celebrate the huge sporting achievements of British ethnic minorities in the UK, whilst encouraging more of the next generation to achieve the same and more.
“It’s a great celebration that we’re proud to be a part of for the second year.”
Arun Kang, chief executive officer of Sporting Equals who founded the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards said: “The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards play such an important role in celebrating the sporting successes of black and minority ethnic communities, as well as helping to inspire the next generation.”
[Words by Rodney Hinds]