Jessica Ennis receives SJA award from Baroness CampbellSubscribe
SJA 12 December 2012
Baroness Sue Campbell presented Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis with the Pat Besford Trophy for the outstanding performance of the year at the 2012 SJA British Sports Awards.
Sponsored by The National Lottery, the awards ceremony took place at the Tower of London on 6 December and was attended by 600 guests, including many of the stars of London 2012 and the country’s top sports journalists.
Presenting the award to Ennis with Camelot Managing Director Andy Duncan, Baroness Campbell thanked sponsors The National Lottery, before tracking the journey of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports from Atlanta 1996 to the present day, highlighting the dramatic improvements in performance since the introduction of National Lottery funding.
For the third time in four years Ennis also won the award for Sportswoman of the Year, with Olympic time trial champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins named Sportsman of the Year.
Europe’s Ryder Cup team, including seven British golfers led by Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, were runaway winners of Team of the Year, having retained the trophy in the United States with the greatest last-day comeback ever seen at the event.
Runners-up were gold medal Olympic rowers Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger, with Champions League winners Chelsea third in the voting.
The SJA awards were first staged in 1949 and are the country’s longest-running sports awards. They are voted by a membership of more than 750, made up of sports writers, broadcasters, photographers and editors.
Since 1963, the Disabled Sports Personality of the Year has recognised the achievement of an athlete with a disability. With the huge success of the Paralympics, two awards were made this year with David Weir – winner in 2006 – taking the men’s prize and Sarah Storey the women’s.
Weir won four gold medals at the London Paralympics – 800, 1,500, 5,000 and marathon – while Storey, with four cycling golds in 2012, had previously won the SJA title as a swimmer 19 years ago.
With SJA President Sir Michael Parkinson making some of the presentations, compere Jim Rosenthal introduced a number of other awards, including the JL Manning Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Sport, which was presented to Lord Coe, chairman of the London Olympic and Paralympic organising committee.
As special guests of the SJA at the event was a table of GamesMakers – volunteers who did much to make the Games such a great success. The 10 GamesMakers guests had all worked in the media rooms at sporting venues during the Games.
Sir Michael Parkinson gave his President’s Award to the Olympic double sculls gold medallists Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger. Grainger struck gold at the fourth attempt after three successive silvers.
Chairman of the SJA committee Barry Newcombe said: “It’s been probably the greatest year in the history of British sport, and certainly one of the busiest for our members.
“This year’s awards were twice the size of the event when I became chairman, and we are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the National Lottery, who we were delighted were able to come along and share in the celebrations with so many of the great competitors who they have helped fund through their sporting careers.”