BAWA considers question of disability awards

By Simon Turnbull, chairman, BAWA
Aviva, who sponsor the British Athletics Writers’ Association’s annual dinner, have asked us to consider introducing an annual award for disabled athletes.

This was discussed at the BAWA AGM but those present had differing opinions and in the end felt that it should be put to a vote of all BAWA members.

Those in favour argued that UKA governs all athletics, including disability, and that we lay ourselves open to allegations of discrimination by not recognising these athletes. With the Paralympics in London in 2012, this will only become more of an issue.

Those against argued that we shouldn’t be pressured by outside influences and that most of our members don’t cover disabled athletics and would probably struggle to choose a worthy winner.

So, we are asking BAWA members to let us know whether you want to introduce a disabled athlete of the year award at our annual dinner.

The committee suggests this would be:
• an annual BAWA award
• presented to one athlete (the top athlete, male or female)
• decided following the recommendation of a Paralympic athletics expert (in the same way we decide our junior awards).

If the outcome of the vote is “Yes”, then this award would be introduced at this year’s BAWA Awards dinner, being staged in London on November 14.

BAWA members should vote on the disability award issue by email to Simon Turnbull indicating YES or NO to the following:

“I agree that BAWA should introduce an annual award for UK athletes with a disability”.

The deadline for votes is October 17.

The BAWA annual awards dinner, November 14, 2009, 7.15pm reception for 7.45pm, in the Westminster Suite, London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP

Tickets: BAWA members and partners: £57.50; additional members’ tickets: £68
Non-members/corporate guests: £95 per person or £90 per person in a corporate group (5 or more)

To book, write to Simon Turnbull, 16 Orchard Dene, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear NE39 1DW,

Or contact via email.

Or call/text Simon on 07710 576446.

BAWA members should also vote for their male and female athletes of the year. The winners will be announced at the BAWA dinner.

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