Lewis Hamilton and Hollie Doyle honoured at SJA British Sports Awards
Lewis Hamilton and Hollie Doyle have been named Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year at the SJA British Sports Awards, voted for by members of the Sports Journalists’ Association.
Formula 1 world champion Hamilton took the men’s award after winning a record-equalling seventh world title this season, while also spearheading the sport’s Black Lives Matter campaign.
Hamilton, who also won the award in 2007, finished ahead of Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, with cyclist Tao Geoghegan Hart and boxer Tyson Fury tied in third.
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“I’m honoured and thrilled to be SJA sportsman of the year for a second time,” said Hamilton, who also finished runner-up to Ben Stokes for the 2019 award.
“The history of the SJA and its members makes this a very special award”.
Doyle beat cyclist Lizzie Deignan and athlete Laura Muir to the women’s award, after becoming the first female jockey in British racing history to ride five winners on one card, at Windsor in August.
“I’m really privileged to have won this, just looking at some of the names on the trophy,” said Doyle.
“Jessica Ennis-Hill, Paula Radcliffe – it’s a big honour for me to have won.”
On being a female jockey in a traditionally male-dominated sport, Doyle added: “I’ve never felt like I have not been accepted in this industry at all to be honest, I think it is just the fact there aren’t as many females wanting to be jockeys as there are males.
“Doors are opening and things are changing, and they are going in the right direction so that’s great.”
Meanwhile, Premier League champions Liverpool were named Team of the Year – finishing ahead of rugby union’s Exeter Chiefs and the England men’s cricket team.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepted the award on behalf of his team at a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday.
“In many ways, it was a pretty exceptional season and an exceptional year, it’s an award for my team and I think they really deserved it,” said Klopp.
When asked what was exceptional about his current squad, Klopp said: “We only have 10 minutes so I am not sure that is enough time!
“The way they deal with everything makes them so exceptional, not accepting set- backs, fighting back in each situation when it would be easy to say it’s too much.
“Missing the big opportunity a year before by one point in an exceptional season against an exceptional opponent is really hard to take. I am really proud of the boys how they did it.”
Chris Brasher, co-founder of the London Marathon, was post-humuously honoured with the President’s Award.
Meanwhile, the Bill McGowran Trophy for male and female para athletes of the year went to Dame Sarah Storey, winner of three golds at the 2020 track cycling world championships, and wheelchair tennis doubles partners Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid, who completed the career grand slam with victory at the French Open.
The National Lottery Spirit of Sport award was won by Kim Daybell, Polly Swann and Vicky Wright, who stepped away from sport this year to serve on the frontline of the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
“When the first lockdown was announced in March we did wonder how we would come to select our outstanding sports competitors of this traumatic year,” SJA chair Ashley Broadley said.
“But as time progressed the talent, tenacity and flair of some brilliant sportsmen, women and teams came to the fore and we’re delighted to salute them now.”
Full list of winners at SJA British Sports Awards
Sportsman of the Year: Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
Sportswoman of the Year: Hollie Doyle (racing)
Team of the Year: Liverpool (football)
President’s Award: Chris Basher (co-founder of London marathon)
Bill McGowran Trophy for Achievement in Para Sport: Dame Sarah Storey (track cycling), Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid (wheelchair tennis)
National Lottery Spirit of Sport Award: Kim Daybell, Polly Swann and Vicky Wright (for their services to the NHS)
Sport for Social Change Award: Ebony Rainford-Brent (cricket), Marcus Rashford (football)
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