Black History in Sport

October has been celebrated in the UK as Black History Month since 1987 this year marks the 29th year it has been celebrated. This international month celebrates those key persons who have inspired, contributed and made a change in our society. 

The aims of BHM are to promote knowledge of Black history, culture and heritage, Disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British Society and heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage. 

Various events take place throughout the month bringing communities together showcasing theatrical performances, comedy performances and storytelling. Institutes including Natural History Museums as well as local authorities and libraries work toward making this month a successful celebration of the black African and Caribbean culture. 

Sport has been a great platform for highlighting the sporting prowess of men and women from BME communities, and many are recognised and cherished sport icons.  For more information, visit  about how you can get involved in events going on in your area.  


Past and Present Iconic Sports Men and Women 

Muhammad Ali: the former heavyweight champion is recognised for much more than his efforts in the boxing ring. International recognised for his political activism and an admired voice for Muslims, since his conversion to Islam. 

Pelé: considered to be the greatest footballer of all time rose to glory with his record of becoming a three time Brazilian World Cup Champion. As well as being a global ambassador for football, Pelé remains active in charity work including his on-going work for UNICEF.

Denise Lewis OBE: led a successful career competing in the heptathlon achieving Gold in Sydney 2000. Since her retirement from athletics in 2004 Lewis has flourished in the media covering high profile events surrounding athletics.   

Christine Ohuruogu: Recent Bronze medallist at Rio 2016 in the 4x400m, Christine added to here Olympic medal collection following the Silver medal she achieved in 2012 for the 400m event. 

Jesse Owens: The only Black African man to achieve 4 gold medals in the 100m, long jump, 200m and 4x100 relay in the most controversial Olympic Games 1936. Despite Adolf Hitlers attempt to use the Games as a platform to showcase German Superiority Owens victory was celebrated by all. 

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis began his journey to F1 spending his time from the age of 8 go-karting, by the age of 10 Lewis had won his first British Karting Championship. 

Michael Johnsons: Reclaimed as one of the greatest basketball players of all time with a strong record of past achievements including six time NBA champion and two-time Olympic Gold medallist.   

Serena Williams: Serena's dedication to the sport since a young girl has given her the foundation to build her successful career overcoming the success of her sister Venus. In her latest victory at the US Open Williams made it her 307th Grand Slam victory to surpass Navratilova's existing record.  

Sir Garfield Sobers: widely regarded the greatest all-round cricketer of all time. Born in Barbados, Sobers made his debut for the West Indies against England at the tender age of 17. One of his crowning achievements came in the 1957-1958 tour of Pakistan where he set the record for the highest test score of all-time scoring 365 not out. This record stood strong for a remarkable 36 years. 

Mo Farah: A Somali refugee who found his great ability at track running in Britain. Not only did Farah win double gold at London 2012 in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Farah then upheld his achievement at the recent Rio 2016 Olympic Games. From his career achievements Mo Farah has been named European Male Athlete of the year for the third time.