Alice Tai wins Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year award

Paralympic swimming champion Alice Tai was named the Youth Sport Trust Young Sportsperson of the Year at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA).

The third annual awards ceremony took place on Saturday 18 March. They were held at the London Hilton on Park Lane in London, hosted by Sir Lenny Henry.

Tai, from New Milton in Bournemouth, was up against some tough competition for the award. She beat England cricketer Haseeb Hameed and Tae Kwon Do star Harleen Kaur to take home the award on the night.

She received the award from Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Alison Oliver, YST Ambassador Jason Gardener, and YST Girls Active advocate Fadumo Olow.

Alison Oliver said: “We offer our congratulations to Alice on winning this award. To achieve what she has done on a worldwide stage at such a young age is incredible, and to balance that alongside her education is an outstanding achievement.”

Tai competes in the SB9 and S10 classifications for swimmers, and secured two medals for ParalympicsGB in Rio. She took bronze in the S10 100m Backstroke event, before helping the women’s relay team to gold. The 17-year-old’s achievements saw her recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

What are the BEDSAs?

BEDSA stands for British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. It is an annual celebration of the achievements of black, Asian and minority ethnic athletes from all across the UK.

The awards recognise the sporting achievements of some of the best athletes in the country. It aims to inspire and encourage more BAME participation across sport.

In 2016 London based community swimming group, Swim Dem Crew, were honoured at the awards.

They received the Sport England Community Sports Project award for their outstanding work encouraging adults from all different backgrounds to learn how to swim.