Leigh Halfpenny wins BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2013

BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2013 award

Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny has been named BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality 2013 at an awards ceremony in Cardiff.

The Cardiff Blue succeeds 2012 Olympics taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones.

Results of a public vote were revealed at the Wales Sport Awards,external-link in which BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales celebrated Welsh sporting success.

Twenty-four-year-old Halfpenny's Wales and Lions boss Warren Gatland took the coach of the year award.

Halfpenny was man of the tournament as Wales retained the Six Nations and his performances in the British and Irish Lions' series win in Australia were also widely recognised.

And with Gatland at the helm and Halfpenny making his mark, the Wales rugby team took the Team of the Year title after repeating their 2012 Six Nations triumph by defending it 12 months later.

Wales and Tottentham Hotspur footballing legend Cliff Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The night's other award recipients were:

Volunteer of the Year - Liz Slater (cycling); Young Volunteer of the Year - Kat Lovett (Treowen Stars women's football, Caerphilly); Young Coach of the Year - Sian Lewis (Neath Afan gymnastics club); Carwyn James Junior Sportsman of the Year - Matthew Parry (go karting); Carwyn James Junior Sportswoman of the Year - Adele Nicoll (shot putt & discus); Coach to disabled people - Keith Rollinson; Unsung Hero - Community Coach of the Year - Edward Thompson.

Wales rugby union wing and international sprinter

This year's four other contenders, chosen by an expert panel, were:

Footballer Gareth Bale, who became the world's most expensive player when he joined Real Madrid after scoring 26 goals for Tottenham during a season in which he won numerous player of the year awards.

Paralympian Aled Sion Davies, who won two gold medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon in July, setting a new world record to win the F42 shot putt before one of the biggest throws of his life saw him win discus gold.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson presents Leigh Halfpenny with the award
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson presents Leigh Halfpenny with the award

Cyclist Becky James won four medals at the World Track Cycling Championships, including sprint and keirin gold medals and later in the year became the first British woman to be invited to ride in the lucrative Japanese keirin circuit.

Triathlete Non Stanford was crowned ITU World Champion with victory in the World Series Grand Final in London - only 12 months after she won the Under-23 title.

The Wales Sport Awards were held at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff, on Monday, 9 December.

As well as the live online transmission from bbc.co.uk/sportwales, the winner was also revealed on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and appeared later that evening on BBC Wales Today on BBC One Wales and Newyddion on S4C.

Other awards presented on the night include Coach of the Year, Team of the Year, Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and BBC Cymru Wales' Sports Unsung Hero. award.

A review of the sporting year will be broadcast on BBC Wales television towards the end of 2013.

Chair of Sport Wales, professor Laura McAllister said: "The calibre of the winners and finalists really give an indication of the standard of Welsh sport at the moment.

"We are a nation of just three million people but a nation where sport defines its people - it is a fundamental part of our DNA.

"These are the role models that we want the Welsh public to follow to help us bring through the next generation of young sportspeople and show them how to find their personal podium, whether that be in sport, in work, or in life more generally."

Watch Welsh Sports Review 2013 on BBC Two Wales, Friday, 20 December at 21:00 GMT (repeated on BBC Two Wales, Boxing Day at 12:45 GMT).