HUSH on … the “other” 2020 World Champions representing the UK or the Home Nations

In a year where a limited amount of sport has taken place, with the Olympics and many World Championships postponed, it would have been a great opportunity to celebrate all World Champions and given other sports the platform.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case and this was perfectly summed up by the BBC’s “Sports Personality of the Year” where the traditional bigger sports such as Cricket and Football continued to take precedence above others, even when some hadn’t achieved the top accolade in their sport.

Yes, these sports always have this type of coverage due to demand and engagement of the most, but doesn’t that mean we have a duty to highlight those athletes and sports who are unable to gain the exposure?

When I started to look into our World Champions crowned in 2020, it is disheartening how long it took to find the ones I did and believe there is more.

As a society we are looking to challenge in the name of diversity, adversity and inclusion – let’s celebrate all sports in all their forms. There will always be sports that attract higher viewership and popularity, that doesn’t make it a better sport: sports are sports and are for all – and should all be celebrated.

Here are some of the 2020 UK Champions:

Name: Andy Murray

Sport: Radio-Controlled Car Racing

Winner: IFMAR 1:12 Electric Track World Champion – Stock Class

Back in January 2020, the British Radio Car Association (BRCA) hosted the IFMAR 1/12 World Championships. Andy Murray, racing with Schumacher, displayed some great RC Racing to become the first British 1/12th champion in 14 years, with fellow Brits Matthew Varah and Ben Vincent completing the podium. With huge crowds trackside, and viewership through RC Racing TV on Youtube, this sport has a loyal following with 120 Racers over the 4-day event.

Name: Jon McAllister

Sport: Billiards

Winner: IPA World Blackball Champion

Held in Bradford in 2020, Jon McAllister won the International Professional Pool Association (IPA) World Championship for the first time. The competition states it is “designed to find the best player in the world”. Previous competitions were watched in over 170 countries, with 33 million hits on their website in 2019.

Jon did lose a couple of months later in the Tour 1 Final in Bournemouth to Scotland’s Liam Dunster. The event was covered through the BBC Sport Website, with coverage provided by the IPA, with over 26k views on Youtube.

Name: Amy Beauchamp

Sport: Billiards

Winner: IPA World Blackball Champion

Jon was not the only UK player to have success at the IPA World Championship. Amy’s achievements have been impressive in 2020, adding to her WEPF World Eight-ball championship in 2019, she won the IPA World Blackball Championship, plus the Ladies Bournemouth title just before lockdown.

Name: Reece Wilson

Sport: Cycling

Winner: UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

This Scottish Downhill Mountain Biker clinched his first rainbow jersey in October in Austria. Reece had to wait for 31 other competitors before his victory was sealed.

Reece was emotional after the win, and stated it was down to believing in himself and be the guy that wins. The BBC broadcasted the race live on their website, app and iPlayer.

Name: Georgia Taylor-Brown

Sport: Triathlon

Winner: Hamberg Wasser World Triathlon Championship

After winning bronze in the 2018 and 2019 World Triathlon Series, Georgia finally won her first world title, becoming the fifth British woman to become World Champion. The UK have had great success in Triathlon over the years, with the profile growing – yet the men’s team get more coverage than the women.

Georgia finished the year with a second-place at the Karlovy Vary ITU Triathlon World Cup.

Domination in the Bowls

There is also one Sport we have dominated over the years, across all events, and that is the World Indoor Bowls Championship. Even though the athletes compete representing their Commonwealth Nation, the four home nations have dominated the sport for over 10 years with the last winner from outside the UK in 2009 coming from Australia.

The sport has already had its 2021 event, with Mark Dawes from England winning his 2nd Championship in the Open Singles and Laura Daniels from Wales doing the same. Mark added the Men’s/Open Pairs with Jamie Chestney too, with Stewart Anderson and Julie Forrest winning their first in the Mixed Pairs.

The competition was streamed on Facebook for fans to enjoy.

Are there anymore 2020 World Champions Athletes from the UK?

I hope the answer is yes, if so, they deserve to be championed by audiences, media and broadcasters. Sport is for all and all types of sports should be recognised.

Dr Mike Peters – CEO of International Paralympic Committee

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