Celebrating Sporting Excellence within Ethnically Diverse Communities

The Winners

Our winners were announced at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on 21 October 2023. Thank you to those who joined us for a wonderful night of celebration. We were delighted to honour these wonderful people with you.


England Athletics Coach of the Year

Leon Baptiste

This award recognises the achievements of a coach working with elite athletes at the highest level of performance in sport.

Our three finalists:

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.

The FA Community Champion of the Year

Ashok Das

This award recognises outstanding contribution from an individual in grassroots sport and is looking to identify the ethnically diverse volunteer of the year.

Our three finalists are:

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.

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.

Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year

Krimmz Girls

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.

Our three finalists are:

Krimmz Girls

Leicester Nirvana FC

Mixed Martial Arts for Reform and Progression (MMARAP)

UK Sport Rising Star of the Year

Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker

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.

Our three finalists are:

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.

Peloton Sportswoman of the Year

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

This award recognises and honours the achievements and elite performance of a female sportsperson who has excelled within their chosen sport.

Our three finalists are:

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.

Sportsman of the Year

Zharnel Hughes

This award recognises and honours the achievements and elite performance of a male sportsperson who has excelled within their chosen sport.

Our three finalists are:

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 charities to help bring cricket back to a third of state schools.

Zharnel Hughes entered the World Championships as the fastest active 100m sprinter and the first British man to make the 100m podium in 20 years claiming bronze in 2023.

Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year

Ayesha Jones

This award recognises significant progress and considerable achievement(s) made in the past 12 months in their chosen sport.

Our three finalists are:

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 World Junior Diving Championships and Gold in the European Games.

Rowin Manjit Singh Leil Il is a British Champion Wrestler who won three domestc opens in the last year and also coaches the sport at their club.


Host For The Night - Axel Blake

Winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2022, London-born stand-up comedian Axel Blake is a rising star. The comic began his journey in 2008, and over the past decade, Axel has built his reputation playing the London comedy circuit as well as engaging fans on social media with his stories, shenanigans and sketches. Despite building a loyal following allowing him to sell out a self-produced headline show at Indigo at The o2 in 2018, he did not receive mainstream success until auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent in 2022, which saw him receive Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer. His charismatic and captivating comedy won the hearts and laughs of the audience propelling him all the way to the finals and then on the win the coveted competition and a spot at The Royal Variety Show. Prior to his commercial success, Axel’s career highlights included presenting for the likes of Crep Protect, UNILAD and SBTV and earning support slots alongside big names such as Eddie Griffin and Dave Chappelle. A family man at his core, Axel fathers a son and daughter alongside his fiancée and often shares a glimpse into his everyday life through the lens of his animated persona on social media. At its essence, Axel Blake’s comedy is a truthful and observational style of stand-up built from personal encounters and his years of experience on the scene.

About The Awards

Sporting Equals are delighted to be hosting the seventh edition to their awards on 21 October 2023. Formerly known as the BEDSA’s the awards recognise and celebrate the contributions made by ethnically diverse people & communities to sport.

The Awards will help drive change in the sport sector where more role models from more communities in more sports are a priority to increase participation.

The recognition of hard work and dedication stimulates interest and unearths talent on and off the field of play.

What To Expect



Venue Location

Royal Lancaster London

London Underground:

Lancaster Gate: Lancaster Gate (Central Line) tube station is adjacent to the hotel. The line connects with Oxford Circus, Holborn (British Museum) and Liverpool Street among other iconic London locations in less than 15 minutes.

Paddington: Paddington tube and railway stations are a mere 6 minute walk from the hotel. The tube station has access to 4 different lines and the railway station connects London with Heathrow via Heathrow Express as well as with other regional and national lines going to British cities such as Bath, Oxford, Reading, Windsor or Cardiff.

London Buses:

There are many bus routes (94 and 148) passing the hotel that are connect us with some of the most remarkable London places such as Victoria, Soho, Piccadilly or Oxford Street.

There is no parking on site.

Table Prices

Our table prices for the awards are as below.
All tables include the following

  • All food and drinks are included in the price
  • Drinks reception and after party
  • Sports personalities will be present
  • Great networking opportunity for your organisation
  • Senior reps from NGBs and sport sector will be there including Sport England and UK Sport.




To enquire about table sales please email awards@sportingequals.org.uk

Sporting Equals Awards 2024 - Query Form

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For more information on your rights, please see the Information Commissioner’s Office website: https://ico.org.uk/.

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If you have any questions about this privacy statement or your rights regarding your personal data, please contact us at info@sportingequals.org.uk or 01217 771375.

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