Community team nominated at BEDSAs

Some of English cricket’s biggest names will be vying for deserved wins at the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs) this Saturday, March 18.

Haseeb Hameed, Ottis Gibson, Azeem Rafiq, and the community team at Leicestershire CCC have all been nominated for awards at this year’s Lycamobile BEDSAs, which recognise and celebrate sporting excellence within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

20-year-old Haseeb Hameed will also be hoping to build on a fantastic 2016 by adding a Lycamobile BEDSA to his impressive list of achievements.

The record-breaking batsman has been shortlisted for the Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year, with his performances last year vital to his club, Lancashire CCC, allowing him to be named their 2016 Player of the Year.

Upon being nominated for his award, Hameed said: "I do feel genuinely honoured to receive this nomination, and to be in contention for such a prestigious award. It's been a really memorable year for me, and to receive this sort of recognition is great for all the people who have helped me, especially my family and friends, and the coaches and team-mates at Lancashire and with England.

“To be nominated for the Young Sportsperson of the Year at the BEDSAs is a great honour, and I'd like to thank the people involved with the awards, and the Youth Sport Trust for sponsoring the category."

Ottis Gibson, England's bowling coach and the former Coach of the West Indies Cricket team has been nominated for England Athletics Coach of the Year.

Gibson will be joined on Saturday by Azeem Rafiq, who is nominated for UK Sport Inspirational Performance of the Year. Rafiq’s battle with anxiety and depression had a major impact on his game, but 2016 saw him deservedly awarded his first team cap following two strong seasons in club cricket.

Leicestershire CCC’s Community Team have also seen their tremendous work rewarded, with a deserved nomination for Sport England Community Sports Project of the Year Award.

Their tireless work in getting young people into cricket through various projects such as their creation of the only girls’ cricket league in Leicestershire a stand-out project. They also held Leicester's first ever Interfaith Cricket Festival in June, which saw over 100 young BAME newly-into-cricket participants.

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

CEO of Sporting Equals, Arun Kang, said: "With the ICC Champions Trophy being hosted in England this is a big year for the sport. It is great to have a range of finalists at this year's BEDSAs coming from cricket, and we hope that this inspires peoples to get involved in sport at their chosen level."

This year, Sir Lenny Henry will be hosting the awards, which will take place this Saturday, March 18 in Mayfair, London.