Sir Mo Farah and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill shortlisted for British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards

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Last Updated: 10/01/17 12:30pm

Arun Kang from Sporting Equals explains why the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards are important.

Sir Mo Farah and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill headline an impressive group of sportsmen and women nominated for the third LycaMobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards.

The four-time Olympic champion Farah will go head to head with England second row forward Maro Itoje, Olympic taekwondo silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad and two-time Olympic rower and gold medal winner at the Rio Olympics Mohamed Sbihi, for the coveted Sportsman of the Year award.

"Everyone remembers Lutalo from the Olympics where he was a split second away from winning gold and his interview afterwards was so emotional," Sporting Equals CEO told Arun Kang Sky Sports News HQ.

"Mo Farah [is of course] a double, double Olympic champion he fell in the 10,000m and got back up and won it again.

Mo Farah was knighted in the New Year honours list

"Rugby player Mauro Itoje [is also nominated] and we also have the rower Mo Sbihi, a practicing Muslim who fasts right the way through training and is a great role model for others to follow."

The finalists for Sportswoman of the Year award feature London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Nicola Adams, the two-time Olympic boxing champion, Rio Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox and Olympic hockey gold medallist Sam Quek.

On the shortlist for the Coach of the Year award are Brighton manager Chris Hughton, England fast-bowling coach Ottis Gibson and London-based boccia coach Sunil Birdy.

British-Bangladeshi fighter Ruqsana Begum won a world title last year

England Test opener Haseeb Hameed is one of three nominees for the Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year award, alongside 18-year-old kickboxing world silver medallist Harleen Kaur and para-swimmer Alice Tai.

The shortlist for the UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year award includes double Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox, world Muay-Thai champion Ruqsana Begum and Yorkshire off-spinner Azeem Rafiq.

Organised by Sporting Equals, the 2017 LycaMobile BEDSAs will once again celebrate excellence among Britain's outstanding Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, with the awards taking place on March 18 at the London Hilton in Mayfair.

Rebecca Downie won the 2015 Sportswoman award

Sporting Equals Chairman and three-time judo Olympian Densign White said: "We are delighted by the quality of our shortlist for the 2017 BEDSAs 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."

Other categories include Community Sports Project of the Year, the Unsung Hero award and the Lifetime Achievement award.

This year's judges include former England defender Sol Campbell, Surrey and England batsman Mark Butcher and international athletes Derek Redmond and Jason Gardner MBE.

Categories: 

Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year Award

Sportswoman of the Year Award

Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year Award

Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year Award

UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year Award

England Athletics Coach of the Year Award

The Unsung Hero Award in association with the Armed Forces

Tennis Foundation Special Recognition Award

Mind Wellbeing Award

Spirit of 2012 Connecting Communities Award

Sporting Equals Lifetime Achievement Award