Christine Ohuruogu, MBE (centre)
On Saturday over five hundred guests arrived at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena for the first ever British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA) annual ceremony.
As the organisation state on their website, “The BEDSAs provide a unique opportunity to recognise and reward sporting excellence among black and minority (BME) ethnic sportsmen and women, to help increase sports participation by BME communities and inspire the next generation of sporting talent.”
Nottingham gymnast Beckie Downie, who shone at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games, scooped the Sportswoman of the Year award, whilst cricketer Moeen Ali was named Sportsman of the Year.
Lambeth-born Football manager and ex-footballer Chris Powell was awarded the FA Coach of the Year Award.
Peckham BMX club, in south London, which promotes cycling among young people in the area, was nominated in the Community Sports Project category but One World Sports claimed the prize.
MP Helen Grant, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities, said: "I'm delighted to be attending the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. I want to see everyone succeed in and get the benefits from their chosen sport. That is why it is important that we celebrate and inspire Britain's younger generation. I congratulate the organisers for arranging what promises to be a fantastic evening".
Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis, who attend the event with her mother, received the Jaguar Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant contributions to British sport over the past decades.
Denise Lewis (right) and her mum (centre) celebrate her win
Arun Kang, the chief executive of Sporting Equals, said: “This was our first BEDSA but it won’t be the last. […] This will act as a catalyst for future years because everyone who attended said they felt the awards were worthwhile.” Kang continued, “The awards will create a lasting legacy through the creation of a future champions programme as well as encourage even more participants next year.”