Nominations are now open for The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year 2008 awards – an event sponsored by UK Sport – which recognise leading sportswomen and unsung heroes alike.
Now in their 21st year, the awards, which are the among the most prestigious and influential in the British sporting calendar, will be presented at Lord’s cricket ground on Thursday, February 12, 2009. The event is in association with David Lloyd Leisure and is also being sponsored by Sport England, UK Sport, and CCPR. The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation is also lending its support and is the event’s charity partner.
Previous winners of the main award include Victoria Pendleton, Paula Radcliffe, Pippa Funnell, Kelly Holmes and Zara Phillips but the event also recognises women at all levels of British sporting life including administrators working tirelessly behind the scenes and PE teachers nurturing future talent.
Due to the success of Britain’s sportswomen in Beijing this year, two new awards have been added to recognise these achievements, namely the Olympian of the Year and Paralympian of the Year. The full list of categories is as follows:
• Team of the Year
Celebrating the achievements of Britain’s most successful teams
• Olympian of the Year
Celebrating the success of Britain’s women athletes at the Beijing Olympic Games
• Paralympian of the Year
Celebrating the success of Britain’s women athletes at the Beijing Paralympic Games
• Unsung Hero Award
For coaches, administrators and people working behind the scenes who make a difference, at all levels of sport
• PE Teacher of the Year
Highlighting the outstanding contribution of those who teach physical education
• Young Sportswoman of the Year
Marking the success of Britain’s young sportswomen. Nominees must be under 21 years of age
• The Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration
Recognising inspirational endeavour
• Sportswoman of the Year
The ultimate accolade for your favourite sportswoman of this year
• Community Club Volunteer Award
For individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of women within their community through sport
• Sponsorship of the Year
For brands that have successfully supported and promoted women’s sport
Amanda Bennett, UK Sport’s Head of Policy, who is a member of the judging panel said:
“UK Sport is once again delighted to sponsor the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards. The Beijing Olympics and Paralympics proved just how much female athletes contribute to British sporting success and this event provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate their achievements. In addition, it is also important to recognise those who volunteer, teach and inspire others in sport through their passion and dedication.
“Given the success of 2008, the judging panel will have a particularly hard job as nominations from across the sports spectrum are expected. This will provide us with a fantastic event and, ultimately, all winners will have thoroughly deserved their awards.”
Over the next few weeks, The Sunday Times is inviting people to nominate a friend, colleague or professional who they think deserves special recognition. The panel of judges, chaired by Eleanor Oldroyd, BBC 5 Live sports broadcaster, will decide the winners in each of the ten categories. Nominations close on January 19, 2009 and all readers who nominate will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to the main event. To find out more about how to nominate, please follow the link below.