Who Will Win the Sports Personality Crown?; Welsh Sportsmen and Women Come under the Spotlight Next Monday When the Welsh Sports Personality of the Year Is Decided. Liz Davies Finds out More about the Contest

Article excerpt

Byline: Liz Davies

BBC WALES SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2001 BBC One Wales/Monday

IN what sport did Grahame Moore shine? In what year did Lynn-The-LeapDavies achieve greatness? How many great boxers has Wales produced over the past 25 years? Who were Brian Curtis, Arfon Griffiths, Johnny Owen, Duncan Evans, Colin Barry and Stephen Dodd? Who has won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the year award more than once? And the big question: Who will win it this year?

Whether or not you know the answer to all, some or none of the above, the occasion that honours and celebrates Welsh sportsmen and women every year is always hotly contested and argued about.

It's also a wonderful opportunity to show off. While the fate of the Welsh rugby teams and to a lesser extent the soccer teams are covered, discussed and followed closely all year round, some other sports, which may not be such crowddrawers, are somewhat overlooked both by newspapers and television.

The BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year Awards is a chance to look at all sports and the achievements of those involved.

WITH leading contenders for the main title including Christian Malcolm, Ian Woosnam, Phil Price, Joe Calzaghe, Scott Quinnell, Robert Croft and Mark Williams, the ceremony also embraces the achievements of hgh-flying teams such as Barry Town Ladies Football Club, Rhondda Rebels basketball team, Cardiff City Football Club and Glamorgan County Cricket Club.

Among juniors, up-andcoming sports stars such as Nicole Cooke, Tim Benjamin, Gavin Henson and Anneliese Heard will be waiting with bated breath to see if they take centre stage and the coveted award. "It's an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our elite sports performers who enrich the lives of Welsh sports fans, " says Nigel Walker, BBC Wales Head of Sport.

"It's the only comprehensive look back at all that was significant in Welsh sport over the past 12 months."

This will be the first ceremony for Walker in his position at BBC Wales, and he looks forward to it immensely.

"It'll be a mixture of relief and excitement on the night, that all the hard work in putting the programme together is about to be realised, " says the man who himself gained 30 international athletics vests for Great Britain as a hurdler - including the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984 - and won 17 caps for Wales as a rugby winger. Reviewing the highs and lows of the entire year in Welsh sport, the televised awards - Junior, Team, Merit and Main - will be presented by Wales on Saturdays' Ian Gwyn Hughes and Frances Donovan and Radio Wales Sportstimes' Oliver Hides. …