"We intend to also showcase the wider benefits of sport."
The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards have announced their nominee list for 2017. The annual awards ceremony will take place on 18th March 2017, at London Hilton Park Lane Hotel.
The event aims to promote and celebrate sporting achievements in black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
The list features prominent names from BAME communities, such as Sir Mo Farah and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. Lenny Henry, who works tirelessly in championing diversity, will also host the event.
2017 will see the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards enter its third year.
The event, organised by Sporting Equals, aims to increase more people in BAME communities participating in sports, where otherwise there has been a low turnout.
The 2016 Rio Olympics sadly did not feature any British Asian medalists. Even in the popular sport of football, there are only seven British Asian players. But they are not part of any of the Premier League teams.
The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards hope to change this. Organisers are keen to reinvigorate BAME communities’ passion in sport by creating more role models.
They hope more ethnic individuals can inspire the next generation. The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards is one example where these inspirational figures are celebrated and awarded for their sporting achievements.
Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang said: “The BEDSAs were created to acknowledge the great contribution already made by BAME communities and celebrate those achievements but also to inspire more people to do sport.
“This year we intend to also showcase the wider benefits of sport and how sport can help with mental wellbeing and community cohesion.”
Therefore, this year’s British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards will see top names up for nominations.
The Sportsman of the Year award nominees includes Olympians Sir Mo Farah, Lutalo Muhammad and Mohamed Sbihi. The list also includes England rugby player Maro Itoje.
Also, Olympians Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Nicola Adams and Sam Quek will go against each other for the Sportswoman of the Year award. Paralympian Kadeena Cox also received a nomination for the award.
Head coach of Great Britain Cycling Team Para-cycling, Jon Norfolk, appeared pleased with the Kadeena’s nomination. He said: “Kadeena enjoyed a fantastic 2016.”
“To win gold medals in two different sports was incredible and she is an outstanding example of somebody who has overcome significant adversity to achieve their goals.”
The BEDSA’s nominations also include several British Asian sporting figures. Kick-boxer Harleen Kaur and cricketer Haseeb Hameed received nominations for the Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year Award.
Thai kick-boxer Ruqsana Begum and cricketer Azeem Rafiq also go against each other for the UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year Award.
Sporting Equals feel excited for the prestigious event to kick off:
“We are delighted by the quality of our shortlist for the 2017 BEDSA’s and looking forward to celebrating all that is good in BAME sport at the Hilton Park Lane with Sir Lenny Henry and our esteemed sporting guests.”
Here is the full list of nominees for the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards 2017:
Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year Award
Sir Mo Farah – Athletics
Mohamed Sbihi – Rowing
Maro Itoje – Rugby Union
Lutalo Muhammad – Taekwondo
Sportswoman of the Year Award
Nicola Adams – Boxing
Kadeena Cox – Para Cycling and Athletics
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill – Heptathlon
Sam Quek – Hockey
England Athletics Coach of the Year Award
Chris Hughton – Football
Ottis Gibson – Cricket
Sunil Birdy – Boccia
Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year Award
Haseeb Hameed – Cricket
Harleen Kaur – WMKF Kick Boxing
Alice Tai – Para Swimming
UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year Award
Kadeena Cox – Para Cycling and Athletics
Ruqsana Begum – Muay Thai Kick Boxing
Azeem Rafiq – Cricket
Keep updated with the latest news for the 2017 British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. Follow them on Twitter and interact using the hashtag #BEDSA2017.
The 2017 British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards will take place on 18th March 2017.