- Dina Asher-Smith named 2018 Sportswoman of the Year
- England’s netball squad voted Team of the Year by the public
- Georgia Hall named Young Sportswoman of the Year
- Menna Fitzpatrick (plus guide Jennfier Kehoe) named Disability Sportswoman of the Year
The winners of The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2018 have been announced at a star-studded ceremony at the News UK offices at London Bridge.
The prestigious awards, now in their 31st year, celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational female figures.
The awards were attended by Olympic champions Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill (athletics), Victoria Pendleton (track cycling) and Kate Richardson-Walsh (hockey), European 100m and 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, track cyclist Katie Archibald, British Open golf winner Georgia Hall, and the 1980 Olympic silver medal-wining swimmer Sharron Davies.
Alex Butler, sports editor, The Sunday Times said: “I’ve been involved with this event now for more than 20 years and it is staggering how the number of Olympic gold medalists, world title-holders, major champions and supreme competitors within British women’s sport seems to grow every year.
“The real beauty of these awards, however, is they’re not only about the headline-makers. They also turn the spotlight on people behind the scenes, often unrecognised, invariably unpaid, who educate, train and inspire the champions of today and the future. Where would we be without them?”
The judging panel of the 2018 Sportswomen of the Year Awards consisted of: Eleanor Oldroyd (SWOTY judging chair & BBC Radio 5 Live presenter), Rebecca Adlington, Chemmy Alcott, Amanda Bennett, Alex Butler, Kate Dale, Jill Douglas, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Kirsty Gallacher, Helen Glover, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Michele Hammond, Ruth Holdaway, Gabby Logan, Christine Ohuruogu, Victoria Pendleton and Chantal Scherer.
Previous winners of the main award include Sally Gunnell, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Denise Lewis, Dame Kelly Holmes, Zara Phillips, Victoria Pendleton, Christine Ohuruogu and Laura Trott. Elise Christie, the world champion short-track speed skater, was crowned the 2017 Sportswoman of the Year.
The 2018 Award Winners
YOUNG SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Nominees must have been 21 or younger on January 1, 2018
Winner: Georgia Hall (Golf)
Georgia Hall became the third home-grown winner of the Women’s British Open.
The 22-year-old won her first major title in August with a two-shot victory over Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
Hall started the fourth round one shot behind Phatlum but, after picking up five shots on the final day, her closing score of 67 meant she finished on 17-under to land the £383,000 winners’ cheque.
The Bournemouth golfer was the only person to post four sub-70 rounds.
Karen Stupples (2004) and Catriona Matthew (2009) were the other two British winners of the event since it became a major in 2001.
Also nominated: Izzy Atkin (Slopestyle skiing), Seonaid McIntosh (Shooting), Grace Reid (Diving)
Presented by: Chemmy Alcott (British Olympic skier)
— Georgia Hall ⛳️ (@georgiahall96) November 1, 2018
THE 2018 SUNDAY TIMES SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
The ultimate accolade for your favourite Sportswoman of 2018
Winner: Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics)
Dina Asher-Smith completed a historic clean sweep of sprinting golds at the same major championships.
The 22-year-old won the women’s 100m and 200m at the European athletics championships in Berlin in August and also anchored the British squad to victory in the 4x100m relay.
In the blue-riband 100m, the Londoner beat Dutch rival Dafne Schippers in a time of 10.85 seconds – which smashed her own national record and equaled the world lead mark.
She is Britain’s first female European 100m champion since Dorothy Hyman in 1962.
Neil Black, UK Athletics performance director, called her performances in the German capital as the best display by a British track competitor in a generation.
Second place: Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton)
Third place: Katie Archibald (Track cycling)
Also nominated: Rachel Atherton (Mountain Biking), Georgia Hall (Golf), Vicky Holland (triathlon)
Presented by: Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill (London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion)
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Celebrating the achievements of Britain’s successful collective efforts
Winner: England netball squad
Tracey Neville’s England Netballers stunned favourites Australia on the Gold Coast to become Commonwealth champions for the first time.
Helen Housby scored in the final seconds to give England a shock 52-51 victory over the hosts as they overturned a four-point deficit in the final quarter.
This was only the sixth time England had beaten Australia, the first time since 2013 and first at a major tournament.
It is the pinnacle of England’s netball history, surpassing the silver medal won at the 1975 World Cup.
The winner of this award was decided following a record-breaking three-week public vote.
Also nominated: 4x100m athletics relay squad, Chelsea F.C, Women, Great Britain’s wheelchair basketball team
Presented by: Victoria Pendleton (Two-time Olympic track cycling champion)
DISABILITY SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
The outstanding performer in a disability sport
Winner: Menna Fitzpatrick (plus guide Jen Kehoe) (Alpine skiing)
Menna Fitzpatrick became Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian when she and guide Jen Kehoe won four medals in Pyeongchang in March.
The 20-year-old won gold in the visually impaired Slalom, silver in the Super combined and Giant slalom and bronze in the Super-G.
Born with congenital retinal folds, Fitzpatrick has no vision in her left eye and limited vision in her right.
Fitzpatrick works in partnership with Kehoe, a serving British army officer, who skis down the mountain first with the pair going at speeds of 80mph.
Her Winter Games triumph was rewarded further in June when she received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Kehoe also received the same honour.
Also nominated: Hollie Arnold (Athletics), Sophie Hahn (Athletics), Alice Tai (Swimming), Sophie Thornhill (plus pilot Helen Scott) (Track cycling)
Presented by: Sharron Davies (1980 Olympic silver medal-winning swimmer)
THE HELEN ROLLASON AWARD FOR INSPIRATION
Recognising inspirational endeavour in honour of the late sports presenter Helen Rollason
Winner: Trish Deykin (Triathlon champion)
Trish Deykin was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004.
At the time she was a promising triathlete at local and regional level. Yet as her symptoms grew worse over the next few years, it became increasingly difficult to train at high intensity.
Trish started to experience extreme fatigue, balance problems as well as searing pain in both her eyes and hands. She was forced to give up her job as a crime scene investigator in the police force.
And understandably doctors advised her to quit sport for good.
Only four years ago, Trish underwent a brand new form of chemotherapy for her MS. The aim was to shut down her immune system temporarily to allow damaged nerve cells to repair. The risk of infection from swimming became a serious concern.
Yet quitting has never been in Trish’s nature. Her mantra in life is “nothing is impossible” – and she certainly embodies that spirit.
The 42-year-old got back on the bike and returned to the water and continued to compete in international triathlons – even though she sometimes struggles to train for more than a few hours at a time.
Through hard work, determination and perseverance, Trish became the 2017 European sprint triathlon champion for the 40-44 age-group.
And this August Trish claimed the full European title in Glasgow.
Trish has courageously refused to let MS rule her life over the past 14 years.
Presented by: Non Stanford (2013 world triathlon champion)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Recognising a lifetime of sporting success
Winner: Jennie Price CBE (outgoing Sport England chief executive)
Jennie Price was appointed the chief executive of Sport England in 2007.
This is one of the most influential positions in British sport.
The role carries the responsibility for investing and distributing enormous sums of money from Lottery funds and from the Exchequer into sports across this country.
The organisation’s main objective is to encourage as many people as possible, regardless of their age, background or level of ability, to engage in some form of sport and physical activity.
During the course of Jennie’s 11-year tenure, weekly sports participation has grown by almost 2m to nearly 16 million in total.
One of the driving forces behind this increase over the past three years has been the success and awareness of the This Girl Can nationwide campaign.
The multi award-winning initiative, led by Jennie and her excellent team at Sport England, successfully helped 1.6m more women and girls to get involved.
As a result, Jennie was awarded a CBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for her services to sport.
Jennie will leave Sport England later this month to pursue a portfolio of different projects, including her work with the Youth United Foundation, a charity that supports uniformed youth organisations.
Presented by: Kate Richardson-Walsh (Rio 2016 Olympic hockey champion)
For individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of people within their community through sport
Winner: Alex Paske (Founder, Mintridge Foundation)
Alex Paske founded the Mintridge Foundation, in 2015 at the age of just 24.
The registered sports charity helps to encourage sports participation, life skills and wellbeing for young people.
The Mintridge Foundation provides a support network for young people by harnessing the power of positive sporting role models.
It assists young people of all ages, abilities and physical capabilities to develop confidence and resilience, and creates awareness of the importance of mental and physical wellbeing through sport.
Mintridge runs programmes with professional athletes in schools and colleges, providing mentoring, training and guidance.
The team of Ambassadors – Olympians, Paralympians and other professional sports stars from over 20 sports – work with young people in schools, clubs and academies.
There have been 158 Mintridge Programmes, with nearly 40,000 students impacted.
Also nominated: Stacey Copeland (Creator, Pave the Way programme), Pat Mathie (Gymnastics coach, Avonbourne Gym Club), Danielle Robertson (Creator, online surfing community ‘Surf Senioritas’)
Presented by: Eleanor Mills (Editor of the Sunday Times Magazine and editorial director for the Sunday Times).