It’s time to reveal the winner’s of Sportsister’s second annual awards. Find out who we chose as our Sportswomen of the Year.
Sportswoman of the year– Chrissie Wellington
A true unsung hero, Chrissie Wellington may go largely unrecognised outside of the specialist press, but this four time Ironman world champion is in our opinion one of the best athletes this country has ever produced. This year alone she has broken her own world record and regained her world championship title after missing last year’s event due to illness, despite suffering an accident in training just 10 days before the race. She remains unbeaten and is closing the gap between male and female athletes with her phenomenal times.
Image credit: Brooks Sports
Special mention – Jessica Ennis
Jessica Ennis started the year by winning the indoor world championship pentathlon title. Time out with an ankle injury kept her away from the European indoors, but she was back to her winning ways at the Götzis heptathlon. From here it was to South Korea for the world championships where she finished with silver despite scoring higher than she had two years before when crowned world champion. She is in the unique position of being the poster girl for a home Olympic Games and we couldn’t think of a better choice.
Image credit: Jaguar Academy of Sport
Rising star – Jodie Williams
Sprint sensation Jodie Williams first hit the headlines when she clocked up an amazing unbeaten run of 151 races. This year the 18 year old made the transition to senior level and won the 60m event at the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships. This booked her spot at the European Indoor Championships where she ran two PB’s and missed out on a medal by 0.01 second, which prompted Britain’s head coach, Charles van Commenee, to describe her as “the sort of athlete every country is waiting for.” She opted out of the World Championships instead preferring to race at the European Junior Championships where she won both the 100m and 200m events.
Image credit: Nike
New product – Nike Training Club App
This easy to use, free and engaging app allows you to workout whenever and wherever you like. There are more than 60 workouts for you to follow plus bonus sessions led by Nike athletes that users can access once they have logged a certain number of workouts. Whatever sport you love this is a brilliant way to supplement your training. And with over 5 million downloads since its launch we are clearly not the only ones who love it! Plus they have now introduced NTC Live – free, group sessions held in parks and Nike stores around the UK.
Event of the year – Cycletta
This two-event series of women only cycle rides was designed to get more women enjoying cycling, and it did just that. Over 1300 took part, with the vast majority never having entered an event like this before, but almost all saying afterwards that they’d recommend it to a friend. This is great because there are already plans being made to expand for next year. Fronted by Victoria Pendleton it was unashamedly girlie with post ride manicures and helmet hair rescue stations. The attention to detail was exceptional and organisers provided an excellent female friendly event that cyclists of all levels could enjoy.
Brand of the Year – Sweaty Betty
Since it launched in 1998 Sweaty Betty has become one of the most covetable sportswear brands in the business. Their beautifully designed collections mean there is no excuse for not looking fabulous when you are working out! They now have 26 boutiques, with another on the way, and a hugely popular online shop and mail order catalogue. And in keeping with their ethos of empowering women through fitness, they run a number of community clubs. Each store runs free fitness clubs, including yoga, running, pilates, circuits, and everyone is welcome to attend.
Team of the Year –Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills
The sailing duo of Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills, who compete in the 470 class, were the stand out performers at the high calibre 2012 test event in Weymouth this summer. Despite having only sailed together for six months they led this event for the whole week and were just narrowly pipped to gold. Add this to the silver they won at the Skandia Sail for Gold event in June and it’s clear this newly formed team are one to watch.
Image credit: Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR
Initiative of the year – Breeze
British Cycling’s Breeze initiative is the biggest ever programme focused on getting more women on bikes, with the aim of introducing 80,000 women to cycling. Through regular, local and fun women-only rides it has encouraged women to get back on their bikes. Open to all ages and abilities these free rides are led by specially trained ‘Breeze champions’. Women can visit www.goskyride.com/breeze to find their local ride.
Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine