The Powerful Impact of Women’s Sport By Michelle Moore

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The Powerful Impact of Women’s Sport to be recognised at the Women’s Sport Trust BeAGameChanger 2018 Awards

The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger awards, showcase the irresistible nature of women’s sport. Now in their fourth year, the Awards promise to be even bigger and better highlighting the success stories and examples of sporting role models, leaders, journalists, broadcasters and businesses that drive real change for women’s sport.

The prestigious Awards will place women’s sport firmly and rightfully in the spotlight. The general public and those in the sports industry have put forward hundred’s of nominations in a range of categories resulting in an impressive shortlist. An expert panel will choose the finalists and the public vote opens on the 30th April – 13th May, so you can have your say on the winners too! Winners will be announced on 24th May to an audience including elite athletes, journalists, business people, politicians, sports leaders and grassroots influencers.

The awards shine a light on phenomenally talented athletes and people working in sport to create change and redress inequalities. It’s a high energy collaborative event designed to encourage action and stimulate much needed change in women’s sport. This will help to increase the number and quality of stories in the media, showcasing strong female role models.

The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger Awards are unique in uncovering the best diverse talent both on and off the field. This year is no exception with some fantastic nominations. Some of the highlights for me include a nomination for Individual Role Model for international footballers Eniola Aluko and Nadia Nadim and for the Ambassador in Women’s Sport category highly respected GB sprints and hurdles coach Lorna Boothe.

Eniola Aluko is an impressive nominee and widely recognised worldwide as one of the top female forwards in football. Aluko has over 100 caps for the England women’s senior team and is currently playing well for Chelsea FC. Off the pitch 2017 saw Aluko sacrifice her international career to challenge racial discrimination and bullying she experienced in 2015. As a result of a DCMS enquiry, the way in which the government and the FA will respond to future racial discrimination cases has changed. Aluko is a history maker!

Eniola is joined on the list by Manchester City’s Nadia Nadim who has navigated many obstacles in her life from being a refugee, to building a new life in a new country. Nadia is a global inspiration to many and in particular Muslim women and girls.
Another inspirational nominee is track coach Lorna Boothe and former Olympic athlete. Boothe has risen through the ranks of athletics administration to become one of the most senior black women in athletics management. Lorna is enjoying a successful time coaching GB junior sprinters and hurdlers.

A well deserved nomination for Sporting Team Role Model of the Year goes to the GB Women’s Bobsleigh team of Mica Moore and Mica McNeill who were part of the UK sport funded performance programme after becoming World Junior Champions, however their funding was cut in the build-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Determined to fight for qualification, the pair crowdfunded over £30,000 to compete and went on to finish 8th at the games – the highest ever position by a British women’s team. The two Mica’s are undoubtedly inventive changemeakers and clearly talented athletes.

GB Taekwondo’s women’s team have gone from strength to strength over the last 12 months and have continuously proven that they are one of the best squads in the world and are worthy nominations in the Sporting Role Model – Team category. Bianca Walkden retained her World Champion title, Jade Jones MBE is double Olympic gold medalist, Amy Truesdale is the World Para Taekwondo Champion and Lauren Williams is Junior World Champion.

The Awards also recognise inspiring grass roots sports initiatives making a powerful difference in the community. Enter Opening Boundaries, a not for profit organisation using the power of sport as a platform to raise awareness of domestic abuse and promote gender equality. The Muslimah Sports Association also makes the list and is an organisation which aims to increase the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic female participation in sports, through coaching, volunteering or participation.

In total, 56 individuals, organisations and initiatives have made the illustrious shortlist. The Awards will be one of the biggest nights in the sporting calendar for women’s sport. Jo Bostock, Co-founder of the Women’s Sport Trust commented: “Compelling stories about the trailblazers need to be told. They set the pace and show what’s possible. They stimulate other brands, sport and the media to step up and take action. Building this momentum will ensure the future of women’s sport.”

The awards recognize trailblazers in women’s sport! Get involved and vote from 30th April This event is supported by a number of leading business and sporting organisations including BUPA, XL Catlin, Boudavida and Sport England.

Michelle Moore, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, The Women’s Sport Trust. This article was published in The Voice Newspaper on Thursday 26th April 2018.