King and Queen of Spain hand out trophies at National Sports Awards ceremony

RECOGNITION: The ceremony took place in El Pardo palace. Photo: Royal Household

SPAIN’S King and Queen have presided over this year’s National Sports Awards which recognises the achievements of athletes from the country.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia handed out a total of 12 trophies in a ceremony held at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid last week.

They were joined by the King and Queen Emeritus Juan Carlos and Sofia, as well as government officials including Spain’s Minister for Sports and Culture.

The King Felipe Award was given to tennis player Rafael Nadal this year. The award recognises an athlete for distinguishing themselves in national and international matches, with Nadal unable to attend due to being at the Australian Open.

The Queen Letizia Award went to karate star Sandra Sanchez. The award is given to female athletes in recognition of their sporting achievements throughout the previous year.

Golfer Jon Rahm took home the Juan Carlos Award which also recognises an athlete for their achievements.

Manchester United’s Juan Mata was given the Sofia Award for nobility and fair play in their role as a sportsperson.

Other winners included Olympic athlete Maria Vicente, the A La Par Foundation special needs advocacy group, Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Spain’s Men and Women’s Hockey team, the Valencia Region’s Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, Melilla City, Madrid’s Ortega and Gasset secondary school  film directors Javier Fesser and David Marques and handball coach Juan de Dios Roman.

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