Comment – SPORTS

You have to ask, is there really any value in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards? You have to answer – well, I do – yes, there is. At a time when everything in the high street is, according to the media, going to the dogs and we’re headed for a deeper recession than anywhere else in Europe, apparently, it’s absolutely marvellous to have something to celebrate. Chris Hoy is a deserving winner, and I’m really pleased the Great British public saw this and rose to the occasion. Lewis Hamilton will be back as a winner no doubt, but probably not in an Olympic year; Rebecca Adlington will hopefully return too, around about 2012 I think…

Was anyone not moved by the reception for Bobby Charlton when he walked up for his Lifetime Achievement award? Or by the huge smile on the face of Young Sports Personality Eleanor Simmonds?

It was nice to have an evening purely of celebration. It’s been an absolutely unbelievable year for sport – all of them except football! – and we must rejoice in that. Sport has the potential to be the great unifier for all of us, regardless of background or status. Sport brings people together to celebrate and commiserate, to enjoy and endure; sport is the greatest leveller we have in society, and it doesn’t need a lot of money to be enjoyed by a great many.

After a year where we saw a record number of Paralympians return home with medals and a truly exemplary Olympics – even on the track, with an unforgettable win by Christine Ohuruogu – with the news full of doom and gloom, fraud, boom and bust, short selling, falling house prices… I’m all for an evening purely for celebration of the achievements of a wonderful few.

Let’s look forward to Christmas, and the build up from next year toward 2012. I’m already excited – I just hope I can get some tickets!

Jon Bruford, Editor

SGB – Sports and Outdoor

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