2012 has been an amazing year for women in sport. From the huge success of our female Olympians, to the Arsenal Ladies amazing winning streak, to Heather Watson's victory in the Japan Open - female athletes have gained a lot of attention in the last few months.
However, the way that female sports are portrayed in the media is still far from perfect. Initiatives like the Fair Game for Women in Sport by Stylist magazine highlight the major problems surrounding the coverage of female athletes, such as:
- Only 5% of sports media coverage features women
- For every 53 articles written about sporting men, there is one about a woman
- Women’s sport receives only 0.5% of the total sponsorship income into sport (men get 62.1%)
For this precise reason, I think it's really important that part of the "legacy" of the 2012 Olympic Games should be supporting initiatives Stylist's Fair Game petition, as well as supporting the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
The Awards are supported by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, UK Sport, Sport England and the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) - however, I feel like they usually get ignored. For instance, without Googling it, I couldn't tell you who won last year. Or the year before that. (Or all of the years before that...)
Considering the thrill and the inspiration we received this year from female athletes like Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds, I think not only voting, but sending out a few tweets to get others interested and involved is the least we can do.
The 10 award categories are of Awards, are:
The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year
The ultimate accolade for your favourite sportswoman this year
Olympian of the Year
The outstanding figure at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Young Olympian of the Year
The outstanding figure, 21 years of age or younger, at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Paralympian of the Year
The outstanding figure at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
Young Paralympian of the Year
UK Sport award for the outstanding figure, 21 years of age or younger, at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
Team of the Year
Sport and Recreation Alliance award celebrating the achievements of Britain’s successful collective efforts
Coach of the Year
Acknowledging the coaches who, often unpaid and unheralded, have worked tirelessly to nurture the talents of our female athletes
Sport England award for individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of women within their community through sport
Lifetime Achievement Award
Recognising a lifetime of sporting success
The Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration
Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation award recognising inspirational endeavour in honour of the late BBC sports presenter Helen Rollason
You can vote online over at The Sunday Times website (no paywall for this, thankfully) and you can sign Stylist Magazine's Fair Game petition over on Change.org.
Image via JimElliman's Flickr