Plenty to cheer about at Bradford Sports Awards


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Bradford College student Harris Akbar is celebrating after being named Bradford’s Young Male Sportsperson of the Year – for the second successive year.

The boxer, who studies sport and trains at the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy at the college’s Trinity Green campus, was hailed as one the district’s Young Achievers at the Bradford Sports Awards 2017 that was held at the Bradford Hotel on 2nd March.

He won the same honour 12-months ago at the inaugural ceremony.

Since last year’s award, the 17-year-old has added a World Youth Boxing Championship bronze medal to his impressive catalogue of achievements.

The Great Horton teenager travelled to St Petersburg in Russia with England for the AIBA tournament in November and was the only member of the national team to bring home a medal.

He has since been called into the Great Britain Academy squad alongside Keighley-based Olympian Muhammad Ali, a former Bradford College student, who represented Great Britain at the Rio Olympics last summer.

Ali was highly commended in the Sportsman of the Year category at the prestigious awards.

Akbar, who goes by the nickname Hurricane Harris, dreams of following in Ali’s lead.

"Now I am in the GB Academy squad, joining Muhammad Ali, it will hopefully bring my boxing up to the next level,” he said.

"Training hard is the path to winning."

Also celebrating was Harleen Kaur who is a Year 13 pupil at Appleton Academy, which is part of the Bradford College Education Trust. Ranked number two in the world at kickboxing, she picked up the award for Student Sportsperson of the Year.

Another former Bradford College student was among the night's big winners - shooter Michelle Smith. The 33-year-old, who achieved a distinction in her Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching at Bradford College University Centre, was named Female Sportsperson of the Year.

She won gold, silver and bronze last May at the English National Championships, was part of the Great Britain team that won the Randle Trophy in August and also became British Long Range women’s champion.

Unfortunately she was unable to be present to collect her award because to coaching duties.

The Bradford Sports Awards are organised by Active Bradford to celebrate the inspiring achievements of Bradford’s sporting heroes from professional sports clubs and future stars in the making, through to the grassroots volunteers.

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