Helen Rollason Award

The Helen Rollason BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award is a special award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. The winner is selected by BBC Sport annually and presented at the BBC Sport Personality of the Year Award ceremony.

    • 2016 – Ben Smith

      Ben Smith has been presented with the Helen Rollason Award at the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Ben ran 401 marathons in 401 days in order to raise awareness about bullying. His 401 Challenge has raised over £310k for anti-bullying charities, and he has inspired thousands of people, including the school children that he visited at 101 schools.


      Past winners of the award are:

    • 2015 – Bailey Matthews
      8-year-old Bailey Matthews, who has cerebral palsy, completed his first triathlon, throwing away his walking frame to complete the last 20 yards of the final running event on his own.
    • 2014 – Invictus Team
      HRH Prince Harry presented members of the Invictus team – injured, wounded and sick servicemen – with the Helen Rollason BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
    • 2013 – Anne Williams
      Anne Williams was a tireless campaigner for a new inquest for her son Kevin, who died in the Hillsbrough football disaster.
    • 2012 – Martine Wright
      Martine Wright lost both of her legs in the 2005 London bombings. She adopted a positive and determined attitude to her recovery which led, only seven years later, to her competing as a member of Team GB’s sitting volleyball team at the London 2012 Paralympics.
    • 2011 – Bob Champion
      Bob Champion overcame cancer to win the Grand National in 1981, riding Aldaniti. He then set up the Bob Champion Cancer Trust in 1983 – raising millions for research into male cancers – and continues to be an inspirational supporter of this cause.
    • 2010 – Sir Frank Williams
      Sir Frank Williams (Formula One) founded the Williams Formula One team, which has won numerous constructors’ and drivers’ championships, despite suffering a severe spinal cord injury in an accident in 1986.
    • 2009 – Major Phil Packer
      Major Phil Packer (marathon, Channel rower and mountain climber) for raising more than £1.2 million for the Help for Heroes charity, despite being paraplegic since sustaining injuries in the Iraq War.
    • 2008 – Alistair Hignell
      Alistair Hignell (cricket & rugby union)
for fundraising and raising awareness of multiple sclerosis since being diagnosed with the disease in 1999.
    • 2007 – Oscar Pistorius
      Oscar Pistorius (athletics) for his fight to be allowed to race in both the Olympics and Paralympics 2008.
    • 2006 – Paul Hunter
      Paul Hunter (snooker) awarded posthumously in recognition of his bravery and determination to continue playing while battling cancer.
    • 2005 – Geoff Thomas
      Geoff Thomas (football) for raising more than £150,000 for Leukaemia Research by cycling, following his own battle with the disease.
    • 2004 – Kirsty Howard
      Kirsty Howard (mascot accompanying David Beckham in FIFA World Cup qualifier v Greece, final carrier in the Queen’s Baton Relay in the 2002 Commonwealth Games) for raising money for poorly children in Francis House Hospice via Kirsty’s Appeal, despite having an inoperable heart condition.
    • 2003 – Michael Watson
      Michael Watson (boxing) for completing the London Marathon and raising millions for the Brain and Spine Foundation despite being told he would never walk again.
    • 2002 – Jane Tomlinson
      Jane Tomlinson (amateur athlete in marathons and triathlons) for completing the London Marathon, a triathlon and Great North Run while raising money for Cancer Research, after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
    • 2001 – Ellen MacArthur
      Ellen MacArthur (sailing) for her courage in becoming fastest woman to circumnavigate the globe.
    • 2000 – Tanni Grey-Thompson
      Tanni Grey-Thompson (athletics) for winning gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m events at the Sydney Paralympics 2000.
    • 1999 – Jenny Pitman
      Jenny Pitman (horse racing) for one of national hunt’s greatest trainers, who retired in 1999 after suffering from cancer.