What is “Deaf Sports Personality of the Year”? By Richard Weinbaum and Jackie Harrison (Founders & Co-ordinators for DSPY)


Deaf Sports Personality of the Year (DSPY) is proud to announce that the 3rd Awards night – DSPY2014 – is going to be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Saturday the 29th of November 2014.

DSPY is a voluntary-run project and is independent from any sporting organisations, sourcing its own financial budget. The DSPY’s ethos is to establish strong working “partnerships” with all Deaf Sports Organisations and Associations within the UK, supporting them through the project impartially and fairly.

The importance of DSPY awards is very much on the rise as for many years, there has been no formal recognition of the achievements of deaf/hard of hearing sports heroes in our community.  Since 2010 we felt it was time for us to host Deaf Sports Personality of the Year.  By the term “Deaf athletes” this is open in any sports organisation, this is regardless of their specific hearing loss as long as it meets the regulations of their specific sport body which they are involved with. Sport has been, and always will be, a huge part of every deaf person’s life, something that transcends barriers of age, class, creed and colour.

We intend to continue raising the profile of the DSPY2014 Awards Ceremony and to continue a truly memorable event to reward the sporting heroes in the deaf community, which would be a tangible recognition of their hard work through the years.  It will bring everyone, whether it is athletes, their families and the wider audience together to celebrate the athletes’ achievements and to encourage young deaf people and possible future athletes to get involved more with the sports they love.

We have a panel of national deaf six judges, three sportsmen and three sportswomen, one judge each from Northern Ireland, North England, South England, Midlands, Scotland and Wales. Once we collated the nominations from the public, they were passed to the judges and the judges had to decide on the six deserving athletes for the main award, DSPY and the three deserving athletes for other awards such as Young Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, Unsung Hero, Fan of the Year and Overseas Sport of the Year.  The winner, runner up and third place for the main award DSPY, were voted by the audience at the DSPY 2014 Awards via keypad to vote their choice of winner. For other awards, the judges had to decide on the winners of each award after picking three deserving shortlisted nominees about one month before the Awards and the winners were announced on the night.  For Lifetime Achievement, the judges had to pick one winner out of the nominations they received.  Not easy task for the judges.

DSPY are looking for a high athlete profiles will, we hope, bring these hitherto ignored athletes to public awareness and help us to raise the fundraising for the deaf sports in the UK. The evening will run along the lines of the BBC event. There will be montage clips of the nominees in action and the evening will, we hope, keep the audience entertained and absorbed throughout the evening. If you go to our website, http://www.dspy.co.uk, this will tell you more.

Please visit http://www.dspy.co.uk/ for the updated status, follow them on Twitter @dspyawards, Facebook: Deaf Sports Personality of the Year or for further queries please email us via dspy@dspy.co.uk

By Richard Weinbaum and Jackie Harrison (Founders & Co-ordinators for DSPY)