10TH ANNUAL BRITISH ASIAN SPORTS AWARDS SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED!
Following hundreds of nominations nationwide, the shortlist for sporting achievements in 2010 was revealed today.
The finalists were selected by BASA’s world-famous judging panel, including former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash, Olympic Gold medallist, Denise Lewis (OBE), Lorraine Deschamps of Sporting Equals, Sports journalist Mihir Bose, this year’s latest addition BBC’s Football League Show presenter, Manish Bhasin, and Executive Vice-President – International Business for Sony Entertainment Network, Neeraj Arora.
Now, three nominees in each award category will battle it out for the esteemed accolade at a glittering awards ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.Competing for the coveted British Asian Sports Personality of the Year award is Cardiff City forward, Michael Chopra, Formula Renault racer Luciano Bacheta, and last year’s winner of the Most Up and Coming Sports Personality of the Year and youngest ever World Pool Masters Champion, Raj Hundal.
Reacting to being featured on the shortlist, Michael Chopra, said: “I remember being nominated for Junior Sports Personality of the Year in the very first year the awards took place back in 2001. Unfortunately, I missed out on the award at the time but ten years on, I’m still following my football dream at Cardiff and hope to step up to the International stage by representing the India National Team. It feels great to be back on the list and this time as a contender for the British Asian Sports Personality of the Year and with a bit of luck and support, I might just win this time round!”
The youngest Kickboxing World Champion in England, Maaz Bin Saud (10), the first British Asian female hockey player to represent the country, Ashpal Kaur Bhogal (16), the youngest Asian golfer to represent England in U16 squad, Pavan Sagoo (15), UK's number one Karate champion for her age group, Nur-Jehan Shaikh (16), are just some of the ground-breaking sports stars featured on this year’s shortlist.
Other inspirational sporting talent includes Rikin Shah, who is currently the highest qualified wheelchair using football coach in the country with a UEFA B Football licence and wheelchair rugby player Mandip Sehmi who represented Britain at the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008 and hopes to do the same at the London 2012 Paralympics.
The 10th annual shortlist also shows an increased representation of Asians in professional football, featuring five professional players and two coaches in total. Some of these include; Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster Danny Bath, Championship side Leicester City’s Raajan Singh Gill, League Two side Bury FC’s Krishnan Patel, winner of Chelsea’s Asian Soccer Star 2009 and Leyton Orient’s youth player A'ameer Kstantin Murphy, and Baljinder Singh Lehal, the only Asian Football Coach in UK to hold the Brazilian Pro License. Commenting on the final shortlist,
BASA judge Mark Ramprakash, said: “What a fantastic to way to start a new decade of British Asian sporting talent! This shortlist is one of the strongest I’ve seen in my all my years as a BASA judge. It’s clear to see that British Asians will be an integral part of sport in the UK. We have current stars such as Amir Khan, Rajiv Ouseph and Isa Gua – I have every belief that the sports stars on the BASA shortlist will be among the Olympians & Paralympians, and professional sportspeople of the future. Here’s to another decade of Asians breaking down barriers, being at the forefront of sport, and going on to becoming word-class representatives in their chosen sporting fields.”
The public will be able to vote for their favourites to win in each category, when voting lines open in the first week of February.
To cast their vote, members of the public must pick up the phone or text the finalists’ dedicated number, which will be made available via www.basauk.tv