Sporting Equals Awards Blogs: UK Sport Rising Star Award

In our latest series of blogs, we are shining a light on the winners and shortlisted nominees of our Sporting Equals Awards 2023!  
The first category we will be showcasing is the Rising Star of the Year. Our UK Sport Rising Star of the Year award was open to individuals who have recently entered elite senior sports within the last year and are showing potential to progress rapidly within their chosen discipline. 

From the hundreds of nominees, we received for the awards our final shortlist was the following three athletes: 

  • Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker 
  • Issy Wong 
  • Ziana Butt BEM 
Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker Celebrating his Commonwealth Games Win

Our winner on the evening was Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker due to his phenomenal performance in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games in the T47 100m final winning the gold medal with a personal best time of 10.94 seconds. 

The Sporting Equals Award is not the first accolade that Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker has been nominated for. After his Commonwealth Games success, he went on to finish second in the SportsAid One-to-Watch awards in November 2022, cementing his place as a star to watch for the coming years.  

More recently Emmanuel took part in the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships over the summer in Paris and came in 2nd place in the T47 100m. He now looks set to be a part of the 2024 Paralympic Squad. 

Issy Wong speaking at a Breaking Boundaries event

Issy Wong our second finalist 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 also been involved in the Breaking Boundaries project with Sporting Equals, Youth Sport Trust & Spirit of 2012 discussing the importance of community cohesion and using cricket as a tool for diversity.  

Netballer Ziana Butt BEM who is part of the Saracens Mavericks U23’s Squad

Our last finalist Ziana Butt BEM is part of England’s Mixed Netball Squad and the U23’s set up at the 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. Ziana has recently joined the Sporting Equals BASE group to promote the representation of Asian communities within British sport at an elite level and has recently led a netball session at our Peloton on Tour event alongside her teammate Vicki Oyesola and BBC Asian Network presenter Tanvi Shah.  

It’s great to see the hard work and dedication of all our finalists and their incredible achievements! We look forward to seeing their future progress and wish them all the best on their sporting journeys.  

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