Double Olympic Taekwondo Champion Jade Jones was tonight named the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2016 at the Wales Sport Awards.
The 23 year old from Flint, was presented with the trophy by Sir Gareth Edwards at the ceremony in Cardiff this evening (Monday, 5 December).
Jones was chosen by the Welsh public after winning Olympic gold in Rio this summer, retaining the title she claimed at London 2012.
It’s the second time Jones has collected the prestigious award, having also won it in 2012.
She becomes the eighth person to win the title more than once, joining an elite club including Ryan Giggs, Howard Winstone, Colin Jackson, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Ian Woosnam, Joe Calzaghe and Lynn Davies.
And, after reaching the semi-finals of the European Football Championship at their first major tournament since 1958, the Wales Senior Men’s Football Team took the Team of the Year accolade.
There was also a Special Recognition Award for Wales manager Chris Coleman who masterminded the team’s success at Euro 2016.
Sport Wales and BBC Wales joined forces again to hold the country’s biggest annual sporting celebration at Hoddinott Hall, part of the Wales Millennium Centre, in Cardiff Bay.
In the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year Award Jade Jones finished top of the public vote, ahead of runner-up Gareth Bale and third-placed Elinor Barker.
Other outstanding achievements in Welsh sport were honoured at the event.
The winners were:
- Coach of the Year – Robin Williams (Rowing)
- Lifetime Achievement (Elite) Award – Billy Boston (rugby league)
- Lifetime Achievement (Community) Award – Nick Evans (Cricket, Pembrokeshire)
- Volunteer of the Year – Chris Landon (Cycling, Cardiff)
- Young Volunteer of the Year – Joseph Jones (Multi-Sport, Llandudno)
- Young Coach of the Year – Daniel Johnsey (Swimming/Fitness, Monmouthshire)
- Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year – Jake Heyward (Athletics)
- Carwyn James Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Lauren Williams (Taekwondo)
- Coach to Disabled People – Deb Bashford (Wheelchair Basketball, Caernarfon)
- Unsung Hero – Vicki Randall (Netball and Football, Cwmbran)
- Community Coach of the Year – Paul Crapper (Cycling, Abergavenny)
Coach of the Year Robin Williams masterminded a 39 race winning streak – covering Olympic, world and European championships – for his women’s rowing pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, culminating in a gold medal defence of their title in Rio.
Great Britain rugby league legend Billy Boston was presented with the Lifetime Achievement (Elite) award. The 82-year-old winger, who was born in Cardiff’s docklands, known as Tiger Bay, scored a remarkable 478 tries in 487 appearances for Wigan, the greatest try-scorer in the club’s history. He was also a pioneer for black players.
The Lifetime Achievement (Community) honour was given to Nick Evans – a man hailed as a driving force of women’s cricket and community coaching in Wales.
Chris Landon was named Volunteer of the Year for his work organising cycling events across the country, while the Young Volunteer of the Year award went to Joseph Jones for his work in promoting health and well-being for young people in his Conwy community.
Daniel Johnsey took the Young Coach of the Year prize after recovering from life threatening injuries to help inspire other people to take part in sport.
The Carwyn James Sportsman of the Year prize was given to 17-year-old middle distance runner Jake Heyward from Cardiff who won the European Youth 1500m title. While taekwondo athlete Lauren Williams from Newport won the Carwyn James Sportswoman of the Year after taking gold at the Junior World Championships and European Senior Championships in 2016.
Deb Bashford’s work to provide sport for people with a range of disabilities earned her the crown of Coach to Disabled People.
Inspirational netball and football coach Vicki Randall from Cwmbran collected BBC Wales Sport’s Unsung Hero Award. She will now go on to represent Wales in the UK final, which will be announced during BBC Sports Personality of the Year on BBC One Wales on Sunday, December 18.
To complete the list of winners, Paul Crapper, who coaches hundreds of women and young people of all ages, won the Community Coach of the Year.
Sarah Powell, Chief Executive of Sport Wales, said: “It makes me proud that we are achieving so much success in Welsh sport and we are able to champion the people who are the true heroes.”
“The finalists recognised tonight are the lifeblood of sport in Wales. Every athlete started somewhere, usually at a community club, where their passion for sport was ignited.”
“These individuals at the grassroots inspire the next generation of participants, volunteers and coaches. They deserve to be on the same stage as the elite athletes as without them sport in Wales could not develop so well.”
Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director, BBC Wales added: “I cannot remember a year when sport brought the nation together like it did in 2016.”
“All the award winners have remarkable stories. Some triumphed on the global stage in front of huge TV audiences, while others made their mark away from the spotlight at community clubs around the country.”
“But all of them have inspired us with their talent, passion and dedication and it has been a privilege to celebrate their achievements tonight.”
The Wales Sport Awards 2016 will be available on BBC iPlayer for the next 30 days.
Or visit our website: walessportawards.org.uk