Be a Game Changer: Me and the Women’s Sport Trust

women's sport imagery of the year award finalists

 

Earlier this year, I was asked to sit on a panel to shortlist a long list of contestants for the The Women’s Sport Trust’s annual #BeAGameChanger Awards.

There were several put forward for each category, which the rest of the
panel
and I spent a good few hours whittling down to three.

The awards ceremony took place a couple
of weeks ago, and was a real celebration of various roles in women’s sport, from competition to business and everywhere in between.

All equal

As a Paralympic athlete, I’ve always believed the sport in which I competed never got the recognition it deserved (though I may be biased!)

It therefore goes without saying that I’m all for equality in sport, and women’s sport fits right into that. Here’s me speaking about this at the awards ceremony:

The #BeAGameChanger Awards did a fantastic job at highlighting how far female sport has come over the past few years. Not only in competition itself but in terms of sponsorship too.

Following their World Cup win in 2014, twenty players from the England Women’s rugby team were awarded with professional contracts.

With Kia Motors showing their support for the Women’s Cricket Super League and SSE becoming the title sponsor for the Women’s FA Cup final, female sport has really gained momentum over the past few years.

As recently as 2013, the attendance at that year’s Women’s FA Cup Final was fewer than 5,000 at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.

This year, nearly 33,000 made the trip to Wembley Stadium to watch Arsenal lift the cup for the 14th time. This is fantastic progress in just three years.

Rising popularity

Just like female athletes, my teammates and I were always just as dedicated to our disciplines as any other elite competitor.

The likes of Paralympics GB and Channel 4 have done a fantastic job at raising the profile of disability sport. It’s great to see its popularity rising, but I still feel there’s a long way to go.

The Women’s Sport Trust will soon be starting a new initiative called #ManOnside, of which I’m thrilled to become a part. I can’t wait to help continue to drive women’s sport forward and ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

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