Former Paralympic swimmer and WST Board Observer, Kate Grey, reflects on the recent #BeAGameChanger awards.
Last year at the Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger event, I, along with many other attendee’s arrived with little or no awareness of the WST, by the end of the evening we were left feeling energised and empowered by the women’s sport movement and motivated to play our part.
Twelve months on the #BeAGameChanger Awards were a perfect demonstration of the great work already taking place and a celebration of those that have gone above and beyond to put intentions into actions to change the landscape of women’s sport for the better.
As I looked around the room full of outstanding and powerful individuals in their field, I could feel the excitement and anticipation of the finalists and guests; who felt privileged to have been invited and acknowledged for their achievements.
“We’re a group of three or four people who do this because we love sport, it’s our passion. We do it on evenings and weekends and we get rewarded by thousands of people reading our content and sharing it across social media. So it means a lot to us to be nominated alongside BBC, Sky and BT Sport. Most people won’t have heard of us over those media organisations, so it’s great for us to be recognised” Ally Donnelly, Scrum Queens, Finalist for Media Organisation of the Year.
“This shows how far women’s football is moving and changing and making a statement. We got over 46,000 people into Wembley the first time the England Women got to play at the new Wembley stadium, and for that to be recognised outside of just the sport is great” Katie Brazier from the Football Association – Wembley Match England v Germany, Winner of Inspiring Initiative.
But the evening was not just about celebrating the finalists and award winners, it was also and maybe more importantly about networking with like-minded people, building on the foundations that have been put in place and moving forward as a unit to make women’s sport an irresistible force to be reckoned with.
“We need to keep raising the profile of the activities that are already happening at local level and then push them up to be national initiatives by getting more high profile ladies to get support.” Louisa Arnold from Project 500, Finalist for Inspiring Participation
“I hope other companies see the recognition we’ve received from supporting the Women’s Boat Race, and go above and beyond to get a piece of the action as well” Helena Morrissey – Newton Fund Management and the Women’s Boat Race, Winner of Sponsorship of the Year.
“There’s a certain grace shooting with female athletes, there’s no ego and they’re such a pleasure to work with. So that’s my motivation.” Lukasz Warzecha – Wild Women Project, Finalist for Imagery of the Year.
“As modern women we sometimes take our freedom for granted, so we need to pull together, we need to step out of our comfort zone, if you have an idea just try, you’ve got nothing to lose!!” Jessica Fulford-Dobson – Skate Girls of Kabul, Winner for Imagery of the Year
The #BeAGameChanger awards were a shop window, to inspire others to also act and step up to the opportunities within and surrounding women’s sport. Over the course of the year the WST has provoked ideas and enthusiasm into actions and behaviours… in the words of Clare Balding “It is getting better, but it can be even better”
Bring on the next twelve months.