Lewis Hamilton leads stellar nominees list at the 2016 Lycamobile BEDSAs

Lewis Hamilton, three time Formula One World Champion, leads an impressive group of sportsmen and women nominated for the second LycaMobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs).

Hamilton will go head-to-head with James DeGale, the current IBF World super middleweight champion, and Yorkshire and England leg spinning all-rounder Adil Rashid, for the coveted Sportsman of the Year award.

The finalists for Sportswoman of the Year award feature Olympic Heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill who won the World Championships earlier this year; Rachel Choong, who made history winning three gold medals at the Para-Badminton World Championships; and World Cup Football semi-finalist and Chelsea’s Double winner, Eniola Aluko.

Organised by Sporting Equals, the 2016 LycaMobile BEDSAs will once again celebrate excellence amongst Britain’s outstanding Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities, with the awards taking place on Saturday 6th February at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

Seven of the awards at the event will be voted for by the public, with voting lines opening today.

Other categories include: Young Sportsperson of the Year; Unsung Hero of the Year; Coach of the Year; Inspirational Performance of the Year and Lifetime Achievement, which was won by Olympic Heptathlon Gold medallist and BBC Olympic broadcaster Denise Lewis in 2015.

This year’s judges include Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE, former West Bromwich Albion favourite Brendon Batson OBE, retired international athletes Derek Redmond and Jason Gardner MBE.

Commenting on his first ever nomination at the LycaMobile BEDSAs, Lewis Hamilton said, “I am proud to be nominated alongside a great group of sportsmen and women and very thankful to Sporting Equals for all the work that they are doing to recognise and reward sporting excellence.”

Arun Kang CEO Sporting Equals and Founder of the BEDSAs said, “It is an honour for Sporting Equals and the BEDSA shortlisting panel to announce Lewis Hamilton as one of our three finalists. He is a true role model for others to aspire to and highlights the attributes an individual needs to succeed in any career path; determination, passion and commitment. ”

Subaskaran Allirajah, Group Chairman LycaMobile commenting on the company’s second year of sponsorship said, “We are proud to support the BEDSAs in their second year – they celebrate the huge sporting achievements of the British ethnic minorities across the UK, giving much deserved recognition to these sporting celebrities and local community initiatives. The awards also encourage more of the next generation to achieve the same and more.”

About Sporting Equals

Sporting Equals

Sporting Equals is the only organisation nationally to work to increase ethnic diversity across sport and physical activity. Sporting Equals engages black and minority ethnic (BME) communities across the UK reaching some of the most disadvantaged communities. Sporting Equals has a strong national network of delivery partners on the ground, reaching the heart of BME communities.

Sporting Equals works closely with leading sports governing bodies and is tasked with bringing the two networks together to:

–       Increase participation

–       Open up a vast new pool of talent for sport in the UK

–       Offer opportunities for talented sportsmen and women

–       Change out-dated attitudes and assumptions

–       Enable BME communities to access sports and fitness facilities

–       Share widely the social, personal and health benefits of an active life

–    Increase diversity in the boardrooms of sport

For further information about Sporting Equals, please visit the website: www.sportingequals.org.uk

 About the Lyca Group

The Lyca Group is the world’s largest provider of services to ethnic communities. The company’s mission is to connect friends and family around the world. It does this through a range of services including: Lycamobile, the world’s biggest international mobile virtual network operator (MVNO); Lycamoney, its pre-paid MasterCard program; Lycafly, its low-cost travel agency; LycaHealth, which operates Healthcare Centres in the UK and is soon to open in India; LycaTV; Lycachat; and Lycaremit. Founded in 2006, Lyca Group has over 14m customers across 20 countries, with a turnover of €1.5bn in 2014. Lyca Group continues to grow rapidly and now welcomes a new customer to its family every two seconds.