BT Sport has today announced the nominees for the tenth annual BT Sport Action Woman of the Year Awards. In a historic year of achievement for women’s sport, the BT Sport Action Woman Awards in association with the Independent, celebrates six of 2022’s outstanding performances.
2022 will be remembered as a year of victories on home soil. The Lionesses were crowned European Women’s Champions after an unforgettable final at Wembley, with Beth Mead winning The Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament. The summer then turned to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where Team GB excelled across the board: 18-year-old Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix secured double gold in diving, Hannah Cockroft OBE continued her record of winning gold at every major athletics championship in wheelchair racing and runner Eilish McColgan set a new Commonwealth record in the 10,000m.
Away from the Commonwealth Games, Eve Muirhead OBE led Team GB to gold in the curling at the 2022 Winter Olympics and MMA fighter Molly McCann triumphed at UFC London as the only British woman on the card.
Based on athletes’ individual achievements, a shortlist of nominees has been selected by a panel of judges which included BT Sport’s Clare Balding CBE, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, Sue Anstiss MBE and Ugo Monye.
BT Sport presenter Clare Balding said: “This year has seen extraordinary achievement in sport, from the Women’s Euros to the Commonwealth Games. Being able to honour these exceptional athletes and their golden endeavors is a testament to their individual journeys. I am thrilled to work alongside BT Sport to spotlight our inspiring nominees who will hopefully ignite a new generation of sportswomen to pursue their dreams.”
Jamie Hindhaugh, head of BT Sport, said: “It has been another ground-breaking year for women in sport. We have seen historic and heroic wins across the sporting world, with Team GB and the Lionesses leading the way in team sport alongside our individual athletes, who are defying records in remarkable style. BT Sport is proud to celebrate our nominees and encourage everyone to show their support by voting for their sportswoman of 2022.”
To commemorate the shortlist, BT Sport has commissioned nine female artists to create bespoke illustrations of the nominees. The artists were selected by BT Sport following an open-call on social media, which looked to find some of the most talented, up-and-coming designers, artists and illustrators.
BT Sport Action Woman of the Year nominees:
Beth Mead – Football: Winner of the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament, Beth Mead is also nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or Féminin after a stellar performance as England’s star forward this summer.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix – Diving: 18-year-old Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix has had a breakout year in diving, winning gold medals in the 10m Platform and Mixed 10m Synchronised Platform with Noah Williams, and a silver medal in the Women’s Synchronised 10m platform with Eden Cheng at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Hannah Cockroft OBE – Athletics: Hannah Cockroft OBE won gold in the T33/34 100m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, completing the set of gold medals at every major athletics championships. The 30-year-old was competing at the Commonwealth Games for the first time and set a new Games record time of 16.84.
Molly McCann – MMA: Molly ‘Meatball’ McCann gave an electrifying performance at the O2 at UFC London back in March. In a homecoming fight and with a contract renewal at stake, Molly set the octagon alight in a face-off with Brazilian, Luisa Carolina. The Liverpudlian unleashed a reverse spinning elbow to the temple, knocking her opponent out cold. As the only British female fighter on the card that evening, Molly flew the flag for all aspiring MMA fighters in the UK.
Eilish McColgan – Athletics: Eilish McColgan started off the year breaking British records in the 5K road race in Dubai and the European 10km record. With these achievements in mind, the Scottish runner claimed the first major title of her career at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Eilish took the gold medal in the 10,000 metres final in style, setting a new Games record, as well as a silver in the 5000 metres. This win signified Scotland’s 500th overall medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Eve Muirhead OBE – Curling: Eve Muirhead OBE skippered Team GB to gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, leading her team to a 10–3 win over Japan to clinch her first ever gold Olympic medal and securing Team GB’s only gold medal of the Games. The Scot also partnered with Olympic silver medallist Bobby Lammie to win the mixed doubles world championship in Geneva to make it a full set of curling gold medals.