The awards celebrate elite performers, unsung local heroes and those who volunteer and devote their free time to sport across England. After six weeks of public nominations a short list for each of the 11 categories was drawn up by a judging panel which included Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, England cricket’s Ashes-winner Simon Jones, Sue Day, the former England women’s rugby union captain, Sport England’s Tanya Joseph, Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, and Julie Whelan, CEO of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
Sheffield based Bayley, from Tunbridge Wells, was born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder that affected all four of his limbs and also overcame childhood cancer after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of seven. The Paralympic silver medalist avenged his London 2012 final defeat by Jochem Wollmert in China, beating the Paralympic champion in the group stages of the World Championship, and went on to beat the European champion Mykhaylo Popov in the semi-final before defeating the world number one Maksym Nikolenko from Ukraine in the final to take the gold medal.
“I’m delighted to be short-listed for this award,” said Bayley. “It is amazing to be recognised alongside some incredible athletes.”
Also short-listed for the disability sport award, which recognises an individual who has triumphed over a disability to excel in their chosen sport, are wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley and skier Jade Etherington.
The award ceremony takes place on Wednesday, December 3rd at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and will be hosted by television presenter Ben Shepherd.