Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Gareth Thomas wins Sporting Inspiration Award

Gareth Thomas came out as HIV positive this summer Credit: PA Images

Ex Wales and British Lions rugby star Gareth Thomas is to be awarded the Sporting Inspiration Award at this year’s Pride of Sports Award.

Gareth Thomas came out as HIV positive in the summer and is being given the award “for breaking down the stigma and proving you can live a full and happy life with HIV.”

The day after his announcement, the sexual health charity he works with, the Terrence Higgins Trust, announced its busiest day since launching their self-test kits.

Gareth Thomas and Prince Harry have united to promote HIV testing Credit: PA Images
96,000
people in the UK are living with HIV

Gareth Thomas had been living with HIV for years and it left him in a dark place. However he managed to take control of his life and used his experience for the better.

He made a documentary ‘Gareth Thomas: HIV and Me’ where he broke down the stigma that surrounds the condition and shows that people living with HIV are not "frail and weak".

In September, he completed an Ironman triathlon in Pembrokeshire, finishing the challenge in 12 hours and 18 minutes.

Gareth Thomas celebrates after completing his Ironman in Tenby

Gareth was the first active professional rugby player to come out as gay in 2009. He said he did this to "send a positive message" to other gay people, especially young adults who may be struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.

His admission was seen by some as one of the bravest decisions in sport and he won a Stonewall's Hero of the Year Award.

The event is in its sixth year and will take place in London tonight.