What a fabulous year it’s been for women’s sport in the UK. 2017 will surely go down as a game-changer, the year in which perceptions began to change in earnest and the cycle of underexposure finally began to crack. The recent Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards honoured some of the stars of women’s sport at a glittering ceremony in London.
The prestigious bash, now in its 30th year, was broadcast live on Sky Sports and celebrated and showcased the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational female figures.
The blue riband award – Sportswoman of the Year – went to short-track speed skater Elise Christie, capping an amazing year in which she won three world titles. Christie fended off strong competition, beating runners-up Bianca Walkden (Taekwondo world champion) and Johanna Konta, the world number 9 and Wimbledon semi-finalist.
Young Sportswoman of the Year is 18 year gymnast Ellie Downie, who won four medals at the European Championships in April, including gold in the all-around – becoming the first British gymnast to win a major all-around title.
More glory for England’s cricketers
The Team of the Year category was a seriously competitive heat, but the gong went to the England cricket squad, who provided arguably the highlight of the year when they won the World Cup on home soil in the summer. They pipped the women’s 4x100m relay squad, the 4x400m squad, the England rugby union team, and the Welsh Para Cheerleading team.
Hannah Cockroft was named Disability Sportswoman of the Year, after another superb 12 months. The 25-year-old wheelchair racer picked up three golds at the 2017 World Championships in London, in the T34 100m, 200m and 800m.
You can find the full list of winners here.
Lets maintain the momentum
The growth of women’s sport is long overdue and great to see; giving young women new role models with which to identify. This momentum must be maintained, and with fantastic organisations and initiatives such as This Girl Can, Team Up, Women’s Sport Trust and the BeAGameChanger campaign, everything is in place for that to be achieved.
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