Selfless acts of courage highlighted in emotional ceremony
While Lewis Hamilton took the plaudits for being named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday, it was the undercard of award winners who provided a heartwarming glow to the scaled-back ceremony.
Hamilton, the 35-year-old formula One star from Stevenage who equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships with his fourth consecutive triumph in the autumn, beat Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson and record-breaking jockey Hollie Doyle into the minor placings in the viewers’ vote.
World boxing champion Tyson Fury, England cricket Stuart Broad, and snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan had also been shortlisted.
It was Hamilton’s second victory in the competition – he has also been runner-up four times – but the real stars of an exceptionally emotional night were those whose selfless acts propelled them into the spotlight.
Such as Captain Sir Tom Moore, who was the recipient of the BBC’s annual Helen Rollason Award, given for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. The centenarian became a household name during lockdown when he set out to walk 100 laps of his garden before his milestone birthday, with the ambition of collecting a few hundred pounds for the NHS.
He raised £39million and instantly became a national treasure.
In recognition of his phenomenal effort, a ‘Captain Tom’ Young Unsung Hero Award was launched with the aim of highlighting a young person who has kept others active or raised money through physical activity. The inaugural winner was nine-year-old Tobias Weller, who suffers from cerebral palsy and autism, and, inspired by Captain Tom, set out to walk two marathons in his walker along the street where he lives in Sheffield.
Previously, he could barely manage 50m a day yet completed his challenge in 70 days, raising more than £137,000 for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces special school.
The adults’ Unsung Hero Award was posthumously awarded to Sgt Matt Ratana, the charismatic officer in the Met Police who was killed on duty in Croydon as he prepared to search a suspect. His death came hours after he had supervised a training session at East Grinstead Rugby Club where he was head coach and where he had quadrupled the number of players in his three years at the club.
And, in another first, Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford was honoured for his campaign to raise awareness of child food poverty in the UK by being presented with the Expert Panel Special Award. Rashford, through his own harsh experiences when he admitted “sometimes we didn’t even have a loaf of bread”, worked tirelessly for the provision of free school meals during holidays and other support to low-income families, prompting changes in Government policy.
Other award winners on the night – Team of the Year, Liverpool FC; Coach of the Year, Jurgen Klopp; Young Sports Personality of the Year, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (diving); World Sport Star of the Year, Khabib Nurmagomedov (UFC).
The main awards were presented by Kevin Sinfield, the rugby league legend, who ran seven marathons in seven days to raise funds – more than £1million – and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease for his close friend, the former Leeds Rhinos star who has been struck down with the disease.
Connect with us
View by date
Lockdown 3.0 looks likely to carry on till March at the earliest. So now’s the time to get creative with ways to beat the boredom… It already feels like January has lasted forever, however, February is a short month, so we will be in March before you know it. Until then, we are all …Read more...
Why not take some time to get your house in order The decorations are long gone, the tree is decomposing in the back garden, and you’re still finding fiddly remnants embedded in the carpet. While your on your knees, have a quick look at the skirting boards: were they really always that dusty? And where …Read more...
Homes England has announced that first-time buyers can now apply for the new Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme The Help to Buy scheme has been around for a while now, however, from the 16th December last year, the new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme has been open for applications from first-time buyers …Read more...
Robert Burns is a national icon and beloved Scottish hero, but do you know why? Poetry is far from dead, and so is Scottish tradition, especially when it comes to this poet who forever changed nations’, ways of thinking. Once the magical Christmas dust has settled, and the New Year’s celebratory confetti has finally fallen …Read more...
Online giant pinpoints reasons for upsurge hours after hopes to extend Stamp Duty deadline hit a snag Latest figures show the property market has made a buoyant start to the new year – thanks to the Stamp Duty holiday, virtual viewings and other innovative ways estate agents are helping buyers and renters. Rightmove, the …Read more...