Sir Mo Farah and Kadeena Cox honoured at BEDSAs
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 19/03/17 6:32pm
Sir Mo Farah has been crowned Sportsman of the Year at the 2017 Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs).
The 33-year-old scooped the award ahead of England and Saracens flanker Maro Itoje, Olympic taekwondo silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad and rower Mohamed Sbihi, who was part of the quartet that won gold in the men's four at Rio 2016.
Farah retained his 5,000m and 10,000m Olympic titles in Rio last summer, emulating Lasse Viren, who achieved the same double at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
"Thank you to the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards and a very special thanks to everyone who's voted for me," Farah said in a pre-recorded message.
"It really means a lot to be named as your Sportsman of the Year and congratulations to my fellow nominees as well. It's so great to see everyone come together this evening to celebrate the incredible achievements of our diverse sporting communities."
Kadeena Cox's heroics at the Rio Paralympics saw her become the first disability athlete to be named Sportswoman of the Year in the three-year history of the awards.
Cox, who has multiple sclerosis, won two golds, one silver and a bronze medal in Rio.
The two gold medals (in the T38 400m athletics and the C4-5 time trial cycling) saw her become the first Brit since Isabel Barr (later Newstead) in 1988 to win gold medals in different sports at a Paralympic Games.
"I'm very honoured to have won this award and would like to give a massive thanks to Sporting Equals for all the work they do in BAME communities," Cox said.
Swimmer Alice Tai won the Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year after also impressing at the Rio Paralympics.
The 18-year-old from Bournemouth won bronze in the S10 100m backstroke and was part of the team that set a world record en route to securing gold in the 400m medley relay (34pts).
"This is crazy," Tai told Sky Sports.
"I was just expecting to come here and enjoy the evening by celebrating everybody's sporting achievements. I wasn't expecting to win this award. It's insane."
British-Bangladeshi fighter Ruqsana Begum took home the UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year Award after her victory over Finland's Susanna Salmijarvi last year saw her become the 48kg Muay Thai world champion.
Chris Hughton, who is currently on course to take Brighton into the Premier League for the first time in the club's history, was named England Athletics Coach of the Year.
The Lifetime Achievement Award - won last year by Frank Bruno - went to former dual-code England rugby international Jason Robinson.
Coping Through Football project co-ordinator Sonia Smith won the Mind Wellbeing award, while West Ham's Rashid Abba was presented with the FA Recognition Award.
The British Army Unsung Hero Award went to Inderpal Singh Cheema who, in a voluntary capacity, has been putting on Olympic freestlye wrestling sessions at the Singh Sabha Slough Sports centre for the last nine years.
The Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year was given to Spring SLR. The Spirit of 2012 Connecting Communities prize went to the Al Madina Centre and Bradford-based Shapla Sports won the Tennis Foundation Special Achievement Award.
The BEDSAs, hosted by the charity Sporting Equals, celebrate sporting excellence within Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of athletes.