BBC Sport athletics pundit Denise Lewis, who won gold medals in the heptathlon in the Olympics, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, will be attending the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA) on Saturday, February 21.
English women’s rugby player and 2014 World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE, teenage 2014 Commonwealth Games table tennis mixed doubles silver medalist Tin-Tin Ho and 2014 European and Commonwealth Games champion on uneven bars Rebecca Downie will also be attending.
Sports Minister Helen Grant has accepted an invitation to join in the celebrations in the E.ON Lounge at the Ricoh Arena which will recognise the achievements and progress made by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. The event will be hosted by Coventry actor Nitin Ganatra, who plays the character Masood in Eastenders.
Sporting Equals is the official charity partner of BEDSA which involves the general public having the chance to vote in categories ranging from the FA Coach of the Year to the Young Sports Person of the Year.
Arun Kang, the Chief Executive of Sporting Equals, said this was going to be a fantastic night when those involved in grassroots sports would be able to meet their heroes from a variety of sports.
He said: “The excitement is building now that we have announced the finalists in the eight categories and the number of elite sports personalities who have already confirmed their attendance emphasises the response to this inaugural event.
“We hope these awards will promote the importance of grassroots involvement in all sports to encourage more participation and inspire the next generation to build on the success of the finalists.
“Voting is now open and we would encourage everyone to go to the website and cast their vote.”
Liz Cooper, marketing director at the Ricoh Arena, said around 600 people were attending the first BEDSA which underlined the significance of the event.
“This is an ideal opportunity to promote the top sporting achievements of men and women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities whether that is through their performance, coaching abilities or voluntary work,” she said.
“It promises to be a great night with top-class entertainment and dinner followed by the awards and we wish all the finalists the best of luck.”
Pictured: Denise Lewis, who is attending the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards at the Ricoh Arena