The annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards took place in Glasgow yesterday, with five women at the top of their sport nominated for the main award and many other women in sport recognised for their achievements.
Lizzy Yarnold, Charlotte Dujardin, Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans and Jo Pavey, who scooped third place, have all had an outstanding year, with their achievements the tip of the iceberg in demonstrating that women’s sport is truly and consistently gathering momentum.
Claudia Fragapane landed the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize after winning the Young Sportswoman of the Year Award last month – fitting recognition of becoming the first British woman in 84 years to win four gold medals at one Commonwealth Games.
In a week that saw them given the freedom of Rugby Borough for winning the Women’s Rugby World Cup, England’s women also won BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year to add to their Sportswoman of the Year team award.
BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero Award went to Jill Stidever; the 77-year-old has been helping disabled children learn to swim for over 60 years.
Women in Sport Chief Executive, Ruth Holdaway, commented:
“To see women’s sport front and centre at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards was fantastic. That 40% of the nominations for the main award were women shows real progress and is a further demonstration that women’s sport and women in sport are receiving the recognition they truly merit.
“Jo Pavey deserves great credit for her achievements and her relentless dedication to athletics. She is a true inspiration to women and mums across the country after winning her first gold medal at 40, and was a very worthy recipient of her Sports Personality of the Year award.
“The acknowledgement of the wonderful achievements of Claudia Fragapane and our World Champion women’s rugby team was also brilliant and so richly deserved.
“A special moment of the awards ceremony saw the incredible work of swimming coach, Jill Stidever, recognised. Women in Sport are committed to ensuring more women and girls benefit from leading, working and volunteering in sport – as Jill has. Consequently, seeing women rewarded for their extraordinary efforts is something we would like to see more of in future.”