University of Leicester sponsors ‘Special Recognition’ award at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards 2016

Posted by ap507 at Feb 15, 2016 12:26 PM |
Ex-professional footballer Paul Elliot presented with award by President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 February 2016

The University of Leicester has sponsored an award that recognises the role that ex-professional footballer Paul Elliott has played in improving diversity and equality in the sport.

On 6 February 2016, members of the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement (DICE) from the University of Leicester were special guests at the second annual Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs). 

Organised by Sporting Equals, the BEDSA awards are designed to recognise and celebrate the contribution of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in sport. The Awards aim to create a positive impact towards the sport sector, where more role models from diverse communities in various sports are a priority to increase participation.

Some of the coveted awards, such as the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award, featured nominees such as Lewis Hamilton, James DeGale and Adil Rashid. The nominees for ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ award included Jessica Ennis-Hill, Rachel Choong, and Eniola Aluko.

The University of Leicester itself was very proud to sponsor the ‘Special Recognition’ award, which was presented by the President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle to ex-professional footballer Paul Elliott for his work on diversity and equality in football.

Professor Paul Boyle said: “We recognise the huge contribution made by people from BME backgrounds to British life including, of course, to sport.  These awards are just one way in which we can highlight their achievements.

“The ‘Special Recognition’ BEDSA is especially important to us at the University of Leicester because it is aimed at people such as Paul Elliott who have worked tirelessly to increase opportunities and diversity in sport.  This fits well with our own agenda to increase diversity in academic life.

“Much more needs to be done, not least in terms of the lack of BME people in top administrative posts in sport and elsewhere.  But we are delighted to sponsor this award as it recognises a leading figure who is playing a key role in helping to deliver this vision.”

Other categories included ‘Young Sportsperson of the Year’, ‘Unsung Hero of the Year’, ‘Coach of the Year’, and ‘Inspirational Performance of the Year’. A special ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award was also presented at the BEDSAs. This prestigious award recognised a top-class athlete involved in extraordinary social responsibility work for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups through sport.

The ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and was attended by up to 800 guests who are passionate about sport. They were drawn from major corporate organisations, sports bodies, grassroots sports organisations and communities, and government. The event also featured on Sky Sports TV.

DICE also hosted people involved in community sport in Leicester. John Williams from DICE and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University, said: “This is a wonderful event for the University of Leicester to be supporting.  It further demonstrates our own commitment to diversity and equality at home and our research work in challenging inequality in sport and other fields.”

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Notes to editors:

For more information contact John Williams at: jxw@leicester.ac.uk

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