Shortlist announced for Sporting Equals Awards 2023
By News Desk
The nominations for Sporting Equals Awards 2023 have closed, judges have had their say and voting is now open!
For the past two months, Sporting Equals has received hundreds of nominations for ethnically diverse sports people and communities.
Sporting Equals champions race equality across sport and physical activity. It is a fully independent body and a national partner of both Sport England and Sport Scotland. Headline projects delivered by Sporting Equals include the Race Representation Index, the Race Discrimination Support Service, LeaderBoard and the Sporting Equals Awards.
“We have read inspirational stories of people making a difference locally, individuals using their platform for change and athletes and coaches who have delivered on the highest stage.
“Over the past week an expert panel of judges has whittled those hundreds of nominations down to three shortlisted per category,” Sporting Equals said in a statement.
The shortlisted nominations for the public voting categories have been shared, which are now open for voting. The voting process is a combination of both expert judges and the public, with the judging panel weighted 40% of the overall vote and the public 60%. This means that the public influence on the outcome is key.
Sporting Equals added, “We would like to thank our supporters for partnering with us on these awards. Without them these awards simply would not be possible. Their support shows their commitment to celebrating ethnic diversity in sport and physical activity, and ensuring there is greater equality and equity for ethnically diverse people in the future.”
Please vote now via the website. Voting closes on 6 October at 23:59. You can read the summary of the award criteria and short lists below:
Community Champion of the Year – This award recognises outstanding contribution from an individual in grassroots sport and is looking to identify the ethnically diverse volunteer of the year.
- Ashok Das has improved community engagement through Kabaddi in the UK. He has helped introduce and teach Kabaddi in the British Army, taught Kabaddi in schools and arranged a community sports day for awareness of the game in the run up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
- Harkiran Zhico Chatha is part of SP Boxing, working tirelessly to allowing individuals of different ethnic backgrounds, ages and genders to take part in boxing.
- Safiya Saeed is a developer of Reach Up Youth, an organisation which helps and mentors young people. She has formed a partnership with Sheffield Sharks Basketball Club to empower young people to play basketball and have employment opportunities on match days.
England Athletics Coach of the Year – This award recognises the achievements of a coach working with elite athletes at the highest level of performance in sport.
- Darren Moore is a football coach who lead Sheffield Wednesday FC to promotion to the Championship. It capped a season in which he presided over three club records (number of points, longest unbeaten run, and highest number of clean sheets).
- Leon Baptiste is an athletics coach who has worked with athletes across Olympic and Paralympic disciplines who have won medals globally. Athletes he has worked with include Sophie Hahn, Zach Shaw and Rio Mitcham.
- Ruth Eytle is a basketball coach who has supported players to reach many of the UK’s top teams. England Basketball now recognises juniors who have competed in her junior level programme and compete in the Aspire Programme. Amongst the players coached to junior international level by Ruth is her son.
Peloton Sportswoman of the Year – This award recognises and honours the achievements and elite performance of a female sportsperson who has excelled within their chosen sport.
- Katarina Johnson-Thompson is the World and Commonwealth heptathlon champion. She has spoken out about her experience of racism in the public domain including in a Vogue interview. She has also launched the LFC x KJT Academy to help aspiring athletes who may not get the opportunity otherwise due to their socio-economic background.
- Natasha Jonas is a two weight world champion in Boxing. In 2022 she became the first woman to ever win the British Boxing Board of Control’s British Boxer of the Year Award. She has been proactive on social media supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Rachel Choong is a European Para badminton champion winning Gold in the mixed doubles. She is currently ranked 4th in the world in her classification and won the 2022 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Sportsman of the Year – This award recognises and honours the achievements and elite performance of a male sportsperson who has excelled within their chosen sport.
- Kye Whyte has won silver at the UCI BMX world championships in 2022. He also won gold in the 2022 European championships. Kye grew up in one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the UK Peckham (South London). Kye joined his local club at a young age and still supports and helps out with the club.
- Moeen Ali OBE made his return to the England test squad to contest the Ashes. He was awarded an OBE in the late Queen’s birthday Honors List. He works with the charity Chance to Shine to help bring cricket back to a third of state schools.
- Zharnel Hughes became the world’s fastest man entering the World Championships and the first British man to make the 100m podium in 20 years claiming bronze in 2023.
Sport England Community Project of the Year – This award recognises a project/ organisation that has developed and delivered interventions in the past 12 months (July 2022 – June 2023) and has demonstrated a significant impact to increasing participation amongst ethnically diverse communities.
- Krimmz Girls
- Leicester Nirvana FC
- Mixed Martial Arts for Reform and Progression (MMARAP)
UK Sport Rising Star – This award recognises those who have recently entered elite senior sports within the last year and are showing potential to progress rapidly within their chosen discipline.
- Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker debuted in the Commonwealth Games with a gold medal in the T47 100m. He visits schools in Essex and London to speak to educate young people on the importance of physical activity.
- Issy Wong is an England Cricketer who made her test debut in June 2022 against South Africa, in the following month she made her Twenty20 debut. Issy has been involved in the Breaking Boundaries project discussing the importance of community cohesion and using cricket as a tool for diversity.
- Ziana Butt BEM is part of England’s Mixed Netball Squad and the U21’s set up at Super League Franchise Saracens Mavericks. She is the first person of Pakistani heritage to represent England in Netball and has co-authored a book called “Aisha’s Netball” to encourage conversations around diversity.
Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year – This award recognises significant progress and considerable achievement(s) made in the past 12 months in their chosen sport.
- Ayesha Jones is a Commonwealth Youth Games champion and record holder, competing in both Shotput and Javelin events.
- Desharne Bent-Ashmeil is the first Black British diver to represent Team GB, winning silver in the Commonwealth Games and Gold in the European Games.
- Rowin Manjit Singh Leil Il is a British Champion Wrestler who also coaches the sport in their spare time.