Sport Relief survey reveals what makes Brits proud

Current world heptathlon champion, Jessica Ennis-Hill, can add another accolade to her roster of medals and trophies with the news that Brits have voted her as the sporting hero they are most proud of, according to a survey conducted by Sport Relief. The results, released last week in the run up to the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, aims to inspire people to sign up to walk, run swim or cycle themselves proud, at the events across the weekend of 18th-20th March.

Giving Times want to know your thoughts! Do you agree with the results of the survey below? In the lead up to the Sport Relief Games, on Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March, we invite our readers to tell us – what makes you proud? Join in the conversation on our Facebook page and on Twitter @GivingTimes using the hashtags #SR #Proud

British national record holder for heptathlon, Ennis-Hill, received 27% of the vote, followed by Andy Murray (26%) and Sir Steve Redgrave, winner of gold medals at five consecutive Olympics (22%). However, the vote was not constrained to those with two legs, with three-time Grand National winner Red Rum also making the top ten (13%).

Jess Ennis
Jess Ennis

With Jessica looking to retain her gold medal at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, it seems Brits find it hard to shake off the feel-good factor that spread through the nation four years ago, with hosting the London 2012 Olympics named as the nation’s proudest sporting moment. Our only footballing World Cup triumph, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, took second spot, while Andy Murray makes a second appearance in the list with his 2013 Wimbledon victory.

With British sportsmen and women consistently claiming medals on the world stage, the UK is a land of proud sporting heritage and the research showed that two thirds of us (66%) feel proud to be British when it comes to our sporting accolades.

Britain’s pride extends well beyond the sporting field, with one in three Brits (37%) claiming that the Queen is the icon that they are most proud of, closely followed by Winston Churchill (31%) and Sir David Attenborough (30%). However it’s TV presenter Holly Willoughby, fresh from This Morning’s National Television Awards win, who is named the celeb most people would choose as a partner in a three legged race (10%).

There is a clear north/south divide too when it comes to how the regions feel pride, with those in the North-East claiming they felt most proud of their local area. Almost six out of ten residents stated that this was due to the people that lived there and a third stated it was down to their distinctive accent.

Michele Settle, Director of UK Campaigns and Brands at Comic Relief said of the study: “From sporting champions to British icons, we, as a nation, have a host of reasons to feel proud. We believe there’ll be an increase in Brits feeling the emotion this spring by taking part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games and making a massive difference to people living incredibly tough lives.”

Taking place across the country over the weekend of 18th – 20th March, the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games encourages the Great British public to get active and raise much needed funds to transform people’s lives. Half of all the money raised by the public for Sport Relief is used to make a difference, right here at home in the UK. The other half is used to transform lives across the world’s poorest communities. To take on an event and get sponsored to walk, run, swim or cycle yourself proud, head to to sign up to your nearest event.