Men and Women

Is it time to have separate awards for Sportsman of the year and Sportswoman of the year?

After all the awards have nothing to do with "personality" anyway so it would be better if it was a straight award for achievement.

And in so many sports men and women are competing separately anyway I think it better that they have their own competition rather than complaining the top ten contenders are all men.


  • Do we need an award at all?
  • Was surprised wit the list - where is Jess Ennis and those Ultra marathon and Mountain runners - yet the added Andy Murray who is an underachiever and a bunch of golfers which is ridiculous since when was golf a sport.
  • I think it's lost its way in the last few years.

    I never really thought it was about personality, or indeed achievement alone, but more about who'd really caught the public's imagination. I think that's inevitable to some extent when you open it to a public vote. Part of the trouble with that is that it depends a lot on the coverage given to the sport, hence I'm not remotely surprised that Chrissie Wellington isn't in the top ten, as there's been very little on mainstream telly about her.  Personally I'm more surprised that Alastair Brownlee isn't in there as there were quite a few of his races shown on the beeb. If it were all about achievement then there's no question Chrissie should be in there, but then who would vote for her if they've barely seen her?

    I'm struggling to think of another British sportswoman who has achieved much this year, but then again maybe that's just because they haven't got much media coverage.

  • I think Jess rather suffered from "not meeting expectations" - so even a silver medal isn't regarded as good enough
  • That is what I was getting at.  What is the purpose of the award?  Is it to promote sport, in which case it has failed.  Is it to give publicity to sports people?  Well, I don't think it is really doing that either.  It certainly doesn't appear to be to reward sports people for thier achievements, unless you consider their ability to work their way into the public eye as an achievement.

    The gender divide is interesting.  Traditionally the media coverage has been of men more than women.  Maybe nothing has changed there.

  • Grendel3 wrote (see)
    Was surprised wit the list - where is Jess Ennis and those Ultra marathon and Mountain runners - yet the added Andy Murray who is an underachiever and a bunch of golfers which is ridiculous since when was golf a sport.

    i think it is a bit harsh to call Andy Murray an underachiever.

  • I think that varies between sports - plenty of coverage of women's tennis and athletics.

    I went to watch a men's volleyball match a few years back - top two teams in the top division, the football equivalent would be Manchester United v Chelsea (until this season anyway).  I was one of about three spectators. There was a big debate then about how to get more publicity - it was a bit chicken and egg - more telly equals more people showing an interest (maybe), but it's more likely to get air time if more people are interested.

  • True Bear, but with tennis, the mens games go on for longer so they get more air time, and everyone looks to the Men's 100m as the 'best' athletic event.

    All of the triathlon I have seen this year showed the men's event in full, but only highlights of the women's event.  Is there even a women's golf tournament? Women's football is generally treated as a joke by the media.  Women's cricket?

    I also agree that some sports are not represented at all, for either gender.

  • There are women's golf tournaments, pretty sure Laura Davies has been nominated for SPOTY before now.

    Women's football just doesn't have the same following as the men's game.

  • That's what I mean.  I know of people who participate in some of these sports, but without the medai coverage they will never get known and therefore won't qualify for the award.  So what exactly is the purpose of the award if it automatically excludes 95% of sportspeople, men or women?
  • Quite - that's particularly true this year I think. 

    I do wonder if there's more of a wide spread of contenders in Olympic years where other sports get more coverage.  I doubt that the women's curling team of 2002(?) would have won without the TV coverage of the Olympics - e.g. if it had been at the World Curling Championships that year.

  • Now that was one womens sport that got good coverage... if only for a couple of years.
  • Mark Cavendish and Mo Farah are in there so either way I can't complain.  Still haven't made my mind up between the two but if anything in terms of historical achievements (UK records broken, first British world champion long distance runner since God knows when, etc) I think I'd have to give it to Farah.

    I see the award as something for the BBC to use to review the sporting year and making a bit of telly out of it.  The winner ought to be someone who has stood out for what they have achieved and captured the public's imagination in a big way.  Some people don't even know that ultra running is a sport at all, and I can't imagine that the majority of the British public have heard of Chrissie Wellington either.  Maybe the programme is also an opportunity for the BBC to cover some of the country's athletes' achievements in "minority" sports but that's another matter.

  • perhaps to make it fair we have a Sportsman of the Year award for the serious contenders and have another award which allows viewers to vote for the "Fittest Bird in sport"  to give the women something and stop them complaining.

  • There's a complete list of who was nominated by who:

    Bit surprised they asked Zoo and Nuts for nominations...

  • good point.

    along with the Star and the Sun you'd have thought that would have improved women's chances of nominations.

  • According to a friend of mine on FB, Chrissie Wellington did very well in The Sun with the votes and almost made it in.

    They did quite a bit of good coverage for her leading up to this.

  • suddenly MPs are experts on women in sport knowing who should be included and now want to tell the BBC they must include women next year.

    From the Guardian:

    The shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman, said it was wrong there were no women included. "The BBC should be celebrating our great sportswomen. There are so many who could have been on the shortlist – like Jessica Ennis, Chrissie Wellington, Rebecca Adlington, Keri-Anne Payne and Sarah Stevenson. They are inspirations to girls and young sportswomen.

    "It is not good enough for the BBC just to review the shortlist process for next year. They must act now to ensure women are included this year."

    I am sure with it being an Olympic year there is a far better chance of some of the sportswomen becoming household names next year anyway and they would appear on the shortlist without any change in policy. But I don't think we should simply say there must be a quota of women included in the interests of fairness.

    Although as it goes to a public vote anyway i don't see any great harm in the panels being asked to produce a shortlist of 10 men and 10 women.

    Next they'll be complaining it is biased if any of the women fail to make the top 3 though.

    I think Sportsman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year is the simplest solution all round.

  • I agree with that skotty.  Positive discrimination is as bad a negative discrimination, and it is one area where politicians should keep their noses out.  Its nothing to do with law or taxes so why does it affect them?
  • If the BBC had changed their voting procedure and this was the result I think you'd want to look at it but as far as I have read nothing has changed, just that no woman made the 10 nominations this year.

    MPs always like to speak out on anything in the news these days, whether it is X-Factor, footballer misbehaviour or in this case Sports Personality of the Year. They also seem particularly keen on telling the BBC what to do.  

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭
    Did anyone else get the e-mail from a big marathon organisation suggesting we vote for Mo?
  • I guess politicians have to show that they are 'in touch' with real peope, hence why they stick their nose into everything.

    Womble, if I did it would have gone straight into my spam folder and I wouldn't have seen it.

  • I agree that there shouldn't be a quota of women for spoty - this list just flags up the problem (or some might not see it as such) that women's sport is under valued compared to men's. It should be a wake up call for the publicly funded broadcaster and others with a public service remit (think Ch4 has?) to start trying to redress that a bit in their coverage.

    Having said that I think asking Zoo and Nuts for nominations is an insult to sportswomen - the only way women will feature in them is if they agree to pose for some saucy photos. I think that's such a faux pas whoever decided it was a good idea should be sacked - if we are going to have cuts at the BBC let's start with them.
  • It's this insistence on phone & text voting that's the problem.  in the old days you wrote a name on a form at the back of the radio times and sent it in.  You could vote for anybody you liked, none of this shortlist nonsense, with profiles and interviews with each of them on the night (with usual accusations of bias against anybody getting less airtime than the rest) and interminable interruptions to remind everyone of the numbers to call. 

    No wonder I won't bother watching...

  • CD,Just switch the TV on for the last 5 mins, as I have done for years.

    By the way Welsh sports personality of the year this year, no footballer or rugby player included.

  • If they'd asked Nuts and Zoo to vote for "the one with the biggest t*ts", then we wouldn't  even be discussing this issue.

    A missed opportunity, I'd say.

  • The programme is hugely biased now...  I don't watch it anymore...

    I will wait for the Smiffy sketch to be on youtube...   or,, maybe as Gavin and Tracey haven't been on this year that won't happen...

    Chrissie Wellington has been overlooked yet again.............. 

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