Deaf Sports Personality Of The Year Awards 2012

Presented by Mike Gatting, the Deaf Sports Personality Of The Year 2012 awards recognised the sporting success of deaf and hearing impaired athletes but also the volunteers who assist in the development of sporting opportunities.

  • 1st Umesh Valijee –Cricket - Went to Australia for the Deaf Ashes 2011 and made centuries in 3 consecutive innings
  • 2nd Mike Burris –Badminton & Golf - Men’s Doubles Silver medallist at the World Deaf Badminton championships and won both the English & Wales Deaf Golf Championships 
  • 3rd Matthew Gilbert –Rugby Union - Professional rugby player scoring two tries in the Heineken Cup

Lifetime Achievement Award 2012

Phillip Gardner - This is a special award honouring someone who has made a major impact on the world of sport in his or her lifetime.


Team of The Year Award

St Johns Deaf Football Club - Won English Deaf Challenge Cup 2011, Deaf Champions League in 2011 & 2012


Coach of The Year Award

Bob Denning - Has inspired the England Deaf Cricket team into higher levels of performances


Young Player of The Year Award

Jack Hodgson - Represents both Nottingham County and England at Judo, is ranked at No. 3 in the UK. Won gold medal (Cadet +100kg) for the Commonwealth Judo Championships and Nottingham Open Championships in 2012


Overseas Sport Of The Year Award

Laurentia Tan - Won equestrian silver and bronze medals for Singapore at the Paralympics 2012


Unsung Hero Award

Teddy Webb - Travelled miles to superstores and raised money from local shoppers pouring odd change coins into canisters.


Fan of The Year Award

James Clarke - Has been a good fan supporting other Torch-bearers, both Deaf and Hearing by visiting eight other Torch-bearers events in the UK


DSPY would like to thank England cricket captain & ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting, OBE for presenting the Awards. He played first-class cricket for Middlesex and England from 1977 to 1995. He captained the national side in 23 Test matches between 1986 and 1988.

ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting said: “We have seen fantastic performances in disability sport over the last 12 months and I’m delighted some of those are being recognised at the 2012 Deaf Sports Personality of the Year awards. The England Deaf Cricket team have continued to perform and the talented Umesh Valjee is an inspiration, illustrating what can be achieved in cricket regardless of any impairment.”

The evening was attended by The Lord Mayor, Councillor Tim Sawdon and was accompanied by the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Nicky Sawdon. The Lord Mayor stated

, “The DSPY 2012 Awards evening was a huge success and a wonderful celebration to recognise the importance of our deaf athletes’ achievements. The awards will encourage other deaf athletes to aim higher by seeing positive role models in sport”

Kristian Thomas, GB Olympic Gymnast Bronze Medalist: “I am happy to support the work that DSPY is doing. The team of volunteers are fantastic and the funds that they raise are so valuable for Deaf Athletes.”

Robin Cousins MBE is supporting DSPY and has recently been filmed at the House of Lords together with Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE. DSPY and the deaf sporting community were delighted to watch the sign language delivered from them all.

Robin Cousins said

" I am very proud to be here to present the lifetime achievement award. Now many of us come in to and out of sports quite quickly, others dip in and out. But for some it takes over their life, it consumes their life and they spend their life looking after people like me and athletes across the country. It is so important, that people can be committed to what they need to do and without these  people; we wouldn’t do what we did. Every single competitor needs that one person who knows what they are doing or what they are talking about, and I am very proud about this life time achievement award"


Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson said: "The Olympics and the Paralympics have been an amazing opportunity to show the world all the things we can achieve. What we are really good at doing in Britain is building and designing amazing sporting venues and putting on a brilliant spectacle, and what I hope we have achieved is that we have opened up the minds of people to show what disabled people can really achieve. And what I hope will come from these games is increased recognition for disabled athletes but also for deaf athletes, who work so hard to achieve all the things in their sport"


Dame Kelly Holmes said: "Congratulations to all the nominees for the Deaf Sports Personality of the Year. I’m sure you are all really excited to be there, and for you being on the shortlist in the first place is a massive achievement. You have clearly done well in your sport, but also given a lot of commitment to your community and perhaps a role model. There is going to be six nominees, announced right now with three award winners. I would like to say congratulations to everybody .Good luck to all of you for the Deaf Olympics 2013!"

Stuart R Harrison Vice Chair IB.Ed, M.Ed British Deaf Sport said:

"UK Deaf Sport would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees of Deaf Sports Personality of the Year 2012. We recognise Richard Weinbaum and Jackie Harrison for their commitment and hard work over the past two years to make the event happen. We would like to reinforce the words of inspiration from Guest of Honour, Mike Gatting, who declared that the event has made him realise that deaf sport deserves much more recognition and support that it currently receives. Which leaves us to say a final thank you to the sponsors and all the supporters to gave so generously"

Jane Thomson, Chair of British Deaf Sports Council (BDSC): "On the behalf of British Deaf Sports Council, we all like to congratulate you both on the fantastic event held last Saturday evening on your 2nd DSPY wards at Rioch Arena, Coventry. It was very successful and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.We are proud as one of your partnerships to promote your Deaf Sport Personalty Awards and that we hope to support you again in the next event in 2014"

Chris Ratcliffe, Director of Development said:

"English Federation of Disability Sport congratulates all the award winners at the 2012 Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards ceremony. It is good to see this event raising the profile of deaf people playing sport including those who have been successful in mainstream sport. We hope that these type of events will continue to raise a positive portrayal of disabled people in sport."



Scotland Deaf Sport: "DSPY 2012 was huge success. Thank You DSPY for the wonderful evening. All deaf sports players should very proud of what they are achievement and the standard is so high. Umesh Valijee is deserved to win the British Sports Personality of the Year and well done to others who won different kind of awards"

Coventry Specsavers hearing aid audiologist Toby Sutton says: ‘We are delighted to be supporting The Deaf Sports Personality of The Year Awards – which really serve as such valuable recognition to these amazing athletes. It’s humbling to see how these young men and women have achieved so much despite their own challenges and we hope the awards help raise awareness for these achievements, while raising additional funds to support them with future successes