Sol Campbell, Azeem Rafiq, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Basketball England were among the winners of this year’s Sporting Equals Awards.
Now in their seventh year, the awards recognise and celebrate the contributions made by ethnically diverse people and communities to sport.
Former England and Arsenal footballer, Sol Campbell, won the Sporting Equals Lifetime Achievement. In a career that saw him win every domestic title and break records for England men’s football team, Campbell has also been a champion of race equality, first as a player and then as a manager.
Former Yorkshire cricketer, Azeem Rafiq, was given the Yakinori Change Maker Award for choosing to make public his experiences of racism in the game and forcing change.
The Bishop, Lloyd & Jackson Sport Organisation of the Year Award was won by Basketball England. The national governing body for basketball was the only one to achieve a Grade A in the Race Representation Index for 2022.
The award recognises the significant action taken by the governing body to advance race equality from the top down. Basketball England took action on a macro and micro level to gradually influence change and become more ethnically diverse from the top down. The board is 30% ethnically diverse, which has resulted in the workforce growing from 12% to 25% ethnically diverse and the sport as a whole is 34% ethnically diverse.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the Peloton Sportswoman of the Year award, following a year in which she returned to the top of the podium after a difficult period of time. She started by winning the Commonwealth Games Heptahlon title in 2022, then caught the imagination of the British public by winning the World Championship in 2023.
The other winners this year were:
Zharnel Huges – University of Leicester Sportsman of the Year
Ayesha Jones – Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year award
Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker – UK Sport Rising Star of the Year award
Leon Baptiste – England Athletics Coach of the Year
Krimmz Girls Youth Club – the Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year
Ashok Das – FA Community Champion award
Nalette Tucker – LTA Tennis Foundation Outstanding Contribution to Tennis award
Arun Kang OBE, CEO of Sporting Equals, said: “This year has shown more than ever the importance of these awards. In recognising and celebrating role models and projects on and off the field to ensure they receive the accolade they deserve. My sincere congratulations to all the winners.”