Sports Personality of the Year 2019 recognises disability

The annual Sports Personality of the Year 2019 awards took place last night (15 December), with disabled sporting personalities awarded during the prestigious event.

Each December, the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year ceremony celebrates the achievements of a sports people, with the overall award seeing a sportsperson crowned as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

This year, England cricketer Ben Stokes won the coveted award for his performance which saw England win the World Cup for the first time, during a magnificent victory against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Other familiar faces which were recognised included Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and rugby legend, Doddie Weir.

RECOGNITION

Eleven-time Paralympic champion, Baroness Grey-Thompson was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award. During her time as a Paralympian, Baroness Grey-Thompson won 16 Paralympic medals in total and broke 30 track world records.

Having also won the London Marathon six times, Baroness Grey-Thompson has made a significant impact in the world of disability sport.

Upon receiving the award from Sir Chris Hoy, Baroness Grey-Thompson said: “I never thought as a young Welsh girl who had a dream of playing sport, when I was watching this programme, that one day I’d be in the audience, let alone on the stage.

“Growing up I tried multiple sports but I was so fortunate I found something I love and became good at it. There were so many people, volunteers, who gave up their time and I wouldn’t be here without them so thank you so much.

“It’s been an amazing journey to see where the Paralympic movement is today. For young people today, we have to make sure they have an opportunity to get active and play sport.”

Baroness Grey-Thompson joins past winners Sir Alex Ferguson, Lord Sebastian Coe, and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hills. 

AWARDED

Alongside Baroness Grey-Thompson, Scottish rugby star, Doddie Weir was honoured with the Helen Rollason Award.

After being diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2016, Doddie has worked tirelessly to help find a cure for the at present terminal condition. In 2017 Doddie launched his charity, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which seeks to aid research.

Doddie has also had a phenomenal career in sport, representing the British and Irish Lions on their 1997 South Africa tour; winning 61 caps for Scotland; and playing with Melrose and Newcastle Falcons.

Receiving the award from the Princess Royal, Doddie said: “From playing sport, I’ve got a bit of spirit and fight and my spirit is to find a cure for MND. My foundation has raised nearly £5m, the recognition and support has been staggering.

“Sport has taught me to enjoy myself because you don’t know what’s next so tonight will be pretty special.”

Has the Sports Personality of the Year 2019 left you inspired to take up a new sport? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram