Mo Farah, Azeem Rafiq and Harleen Kaur amongst some of the nominees on prestigious sports award list

Teenage WMKF World Champion silver medalist Harleen Kaur from Bradford joins Sir Mo Farah – the two-time double Olympic gold medalist for 5000 and 10000 metres, to lead an impressive group of sportsmen and women nominated for the third Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs).

The awards, which are now in their third year, are organised by Sporting Equals, the national partner of Sport England and advisors to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Sponsored by Lycamobile, the world’s largest mobile virtual network operator, the Awards are leading the way in recognising and celebrating sporting excellence within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Sir Mo will go to “head to head” with Saracens and England second row forward, Maro Itoje, Olympic Taekwondo silver medalist, Lutalo Muhamad and two time Olympic rower and gold medal winner at the Rio Olympics, Mohamed Sbihi, for the coveted Sportsman of the Year award.

Commenting on his first ever nomination at the Lycamobile BEDSAs Mo Farah said: “I am proud to be nominated alongside a great group of sportsmen and women in what was an amazing year for British sport.”

Densign White, Sporting Equals Chairman and three time judo Olympian, commenting on this year’s awards said: “We are delighted by the quality of our shortlist for the 2017 BEDSAs and looking forward to celebrating all that is good in BAME sport at the Hilton Park Lane with Sir Lenny Henry and our esteemed sporting guests.”

The finalists for Sportswoman of the Year award feature London 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Nicola Adams, the 2 time Olympic boxing champion, Kadeena Cox, the Rio Paralympic gold medalist and Olympic Hockey Gold medalist and recent “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” contestant, Sam Quek.

Allirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile said: “I would like to congratulate all those shortlisted for this year’s BEDSAs. This list of nominees represents an impressive collection of Black, Asian and minority ethnic sportsmen and women, all of whom deserve celebrating for their substantial contribution to sporting excellence in the UK.”

The Lycamobile BEDSAs are supported by Sport England, UK Sport, The Tennis Foundation, Youth Sport Trust, England Athletics, The Armed Forces, Mind and Spirit of 2012.

This year’s judges include former Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and England footballer Sol Campbell, former Olympic athletes Derek Redmond and Jason Gardner MBE, Surrey and England batsman Mark Butcher, UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl, Leicestershire County Cricket Club CEO Wasim Khan MBE, Paralympic shot putter Vanessa Daobry and Channel 4 Paralympics host, Ade Adepitan MBE.

Previous winners of the Lycamobile BEDSAs include Denise Lewis, Lewis Hamilton, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Moeen Ali and Frank Bruno.

The elite 2016 shortlists include:

Lycamobile Sportsman of the Year Award

Sir Mo Farah – Athletics

Mohamed Sbihi – Rowing

Maro Itoje – Rugby Union

Lutalo Muhammad – Taekwando


Sportswoman of the Year Award

Nicola Adams – Boxing

Kadeena Cox – Para Cycling and Athletics

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill – Heptathlon

Sam Quek – Hockey


England Athletics Coach of the Year Award

Chris Hughton – Football

Ottis Gibson – Cricket

Sunil Birdy – Boccia


Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year Award

Haseeb Hameed – Cricket

Harleen Kaur – WMKF Kick Boxing

Alice Tai – Para Swimming


UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year Award

Kadeena Cox – Para Cycling and Athletics

Ruqsana Begum – Muay Thai Kick Boxing

Azeem Rafiq – Cricket