Ellen MacArthur has been named 'Alternative Sportsperson of the Year' at this year's Laureus Sports Awards

Ellen MacArthur has been named ‘Alternative Sportsperson of the Year’ at this year’s Laureus Sports Awards. The Laureus Sports Academy was established in 2000 and is committed to promoting and celebrating all that is positive in sport and those who have excelled within their field. It is the only worldwide sports awards ceremony to honour the best in sportsmen and women for their achievements across all disiplines and was beamed to a worldwide TV audience of 460 million.

At a showbiz-style ceremony in Estoril, Portugal last night, MacArthur was joined by other athletes, film stars and sports personalities from around the world to celebrate this year’s awards including fellow British nominees Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Amir Khan.

This year saw the biggest British nomination, with six athletes nominated for prominent awards. Fellow nominees in Ellen’s category included extreme adventurer and explorer, Mike Horn (previously won this award in 2001) and wakeboarding champion, Dallas Friday. Other notable winners on the evening included Britian’s Kelly Holmes who was named as Sportswomen of the year and Roger Federer (SUI) named as Sportsman of the year.

On receiving the award, Ellen commented: “It is a huge honour to receive this award and another great achievement for the team. I was in the company of so many athletes who have pushed the boundaries within their own sporting discipline to reach the highest level possible and that in itself was inspiring. The Laureus Sports Academy is committed to supporting and promoting every type of sport, mainstream or otherwise and it is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of that.”

Nominees for alternative sportsperson of the year 2005

Darren Berrecloth (Canada) – Mountain Bike Freerider

Gunn-Rita Dahle (Norway) – Mountain Bike Racer

Dallas Friday (USA) – Wakeboarding

Mike Horn (South Africa) – Explorer

Ellen MacArthur (England) – Yachtswoman/Solo Sailor

Shane McConkey (USA) – Freeskier, BASE Jumper