Amir Khan’s younger brother Haroon, also a celebrated boxer in his own right, made an emotive and inspiring speech as he collected the Sports Personality of the Decade award in Amir’s absence. He said:
“I know Amir is gutted that he can’t be here today. Acknowledgement from the Lebara British Asian Sports Awards means so much to him. He’s got all four of his Awards in pride of place at home.
“The judges were the first to recognise his talent and the BASAs put him on the map, way before anyone had even heard of him. And now, a whole 10 years on, the Lebara British Asian Sports Awards are still behind him, acknowledging his incredible journey.
“He has been a huge inspiration as an Ambassador for the Awards, and definitely one for me. I’m honoured to be collecting this award on his behalf and maybe next year it will be me on stage for a different reason!”
The Personality of the Decade Award was created as part of the special celebrations to mark ten years of BASA. Khan was selected from the past 10 year’s winners of the coveted British Asian Sports Personality of the Year Award. Amongst the sporting luminaries considered for this year’s special award were: boxers Harry Dhami and Jawaid Khaliq, martial arts champion Kamaljit Aujla, cricketers Kabir Ali, Samit Patel, Monty Panesar and last year’s winner Isa Guha.
Khan, who has won the BASA Sports Personality of the Year Award three times in the past decade, was recognised not only for his personal sporting achievements since winning his silver medal at the 2004 Olympics and his formidable career over the past six years, but also for the amazing impact he has had in changing perceptions of sport within the Asian community.
In a special video message to guests, Amir said: “This is an amazing award to receive, and I hope that my success will go some way to inspiring all those sporting hopefuls out in the community to believe that they can achieve their dreams too. Without BASA’s recognition all those years ago, I am not sure I would have had the immense support I have from the community. Thank you.”