F1 star Lewis Hamilton wins British Ethnic Diversity Sports Award
PUBLISHED: 12:22 07 February 2016 | UPDATED: 18:02 07 February 2016
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has driven off with the Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year award at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA).
The Mercedes F1 motor racing driver from Hertfordshire was hailed by organisers of the awards as an outstanding role model.
The BEDSAs were established by Sporting Equals last year to celebrate sporting excellence within black, minority and ethnic communities, and help to inspire the next generation.
In 2015, Hamilton followed in the footsteps of Sir Jackie Stewart by becoming the second British driver to win three world F1 titles.
In doing so he also surpassed his childhood hero Ayrton Senna’s mark of 41 career grand prix race wins.
Hamilton said: “I am proud to have won this award alongside a great group of athletes and I am also very thankful to Sporting Equals for all the work they are doing to recognise and reward sporting excellence within disadvantaged communities.”
He was selected by a panel of expert judges including Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi, former West Bromwich Albion football favourite Brendon Batson and ex-international athletes Derek Redmond and Jason Gardener.
Arun Kang, chief executive of Sporting Equals, said: “It is an honour for Sporting Equals and the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards shortlisting panel to announce Lewis Hamilton as winner of the Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year Award.
“He is a true role model for others to aspire to and highlights the attributes an individual needs to succeed in any career path – determination, passion and commitment.”
The star-studded awards event was held at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, in Park Lane, London, and sports personalities at the bash included IBF super middleweight boxing champion James DeGale, former England, Arsenal and Tottenham defender Sol Campbell, and England Women’s Football international Eni Aluko.
Lycamobile group chairman Subaskaran Allirajah said: “The awards rightly celebrate the huge sporting achievements of black and ethnic minority communities across the UK, as well as helping to inspire the next generation.
“It’s a great celebration that we’re proud to be a part of for a second year.”
Among the other winners were former boxer Frank Bruno and world athletics champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.
* To find out more, visit the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards website.