It is the latest in an astonishing series of achievements for Bradford College student Jasmin Akter, who received the award from BBC presenter Tanya Arnold at the ceremony at Utilita Energy Stadium last night (Thursday 12 March).
There was further success for Bradford College when racquet sport coach Farook Khan was highly commended in the Outstanding Contribution: Coach category.
After receiving the award last night, Jasmin tweeted: “Thank you to @BSA2020 for giving me this award. I honestly wasn’t expecting the award but it feels great when receiving an award as it shows people are appreciating the work that I’m doing.”
The sixth Bradford Sports Awards celebrated incredible sporting achievements across the district – and few achievements are as incredible as Jasmin's.
Jasmin’s name is known not only in Bradford but all over the world. Having achieved national recognition in December as Everything In Sport’s Unsung Hero in Women’s Sport 2019, she was named as one of BBC’s Most Influential Women of The Year Worldwide alongside environmental activist Greta Thunberg and soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe.
Dawn Leak, Vice Principal, Bradford College, said: “We are absolutely delighted for Jasmin. In a city with so many sporting success stories, for Jasmin to be recognised as Sportswoman of the Year at such a young age is an exceptional achievement.
“We are very proud of both Jasmin and Farook as they are inspirations to many people and thoroughly deserve their success.”
A talented sportswoman who plays both cricket and football, Jasmin was born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh shortly after her father passed away. The Rohingya refugee was resettled into the UK with her family when she was eight years old.
Jasmin’s sporting promise was noticed at a young age, and she was recommended to apply for a sporting scholarship in America. However, she decided to put her energies into caring for her mother, a role she shares with her siblings. Alongside her responsibilities, she is currently studying for her Level 3 Business Diploma.
Through Bradford College’s enrichment activities, Jasmin was offered an outlet to continue cricket and football. Last year she was selected alongside fellow Bradford College student Sabeha Salam for Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s girls’ team.
In 2018 she, along with Sabeha, featured in the BBC Three documentary Bats, Balls and Bradford Girls, which told the story of an all-Asian girls’ cricket team battling prejudices to play cricket.
Jasmin has acted as a Young Leader for Street Child United, which uses the power of sport, especially international sporting events, to change the perception of street-connected children all over the world.
Jasmin represented England in the Street Child Cricket World Cup last year. An event designed to raise awareness of youth homelessness worldwide, the competition brought together teams of teenagers from nine different countries. Jasmin’s athleticism and leadership qualities shone through in the tournament as England reached the finals.
More than 400 people were at the award ceremony last night. A record number of nominations were received with 53 finalists were selected across 18 awards.
The full list of winners and finalists can be found at www.activebradford.com/bsa