Suliman nets Youth Sport Trust award
Easah Suliman has scooped the Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the year award at the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSA).
The ceremony was held at London's JW Marriott Grosvenor House this past weekend and was attended by sports stars from across the country.
They included IBF Super middleweight boxing champion James DeGale, former England Football International Sol Campbell and England Women's football international Eni Aluko.
The award recognises significant progress and considerable achievements made over in the past 12 months in the nominee's chosen sport.
He was selected by a panel of expert judges including Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE, former West Bromwich Albion favourite Brendon Batson OBE and former Olympic sprinter Jason Gardener MBE.
The BEDSAs are designed to recognise and celebrate the contributions made by black, minority and ethnic communities.
Suliman, who captained the Young Lions in their 2015/16 FA Youth Cup campaign, beat off competition from gymnast Ellie Downie and long-jumper Shara Proctor in their category.
The aim of the Awards is to help drive change in the sport sector where more role models from more communities in more sports are a priority to increase participation.
It follows the 18-year-old's Young Player victory at the Asian Football Awards in November 2015.
Suliman said: "It's very flattering and a terrific honour to have won the Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year Award.
"I'm excited to be able to be part of the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards."
The defender has been with Villa since the age of eight and played for England at the 2015 U17 World Cup - becoming the first player with Pakistani heritage to captain a Three Lions side.
During the 2013/14 campaign, he represented Villa in both the Barclays U18 Premier League and the FA Youth Cup.
Suliman, from Moseley, penned a two-year professional deal in January 2015 and regularly represents Villa's U21 side.
Arun Kang, chief executive officer of Sporting Equals who founded the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards, said: "Easah at such a young age is already inspiring young people from BME communities across Britain with his talent and the success he has had.
"We cannot wait to see what Easah achieves in the next few years but for now he is a very deserving winner of the Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year category".