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Thursday 8 December 2016

Winners announced for The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2016 in association with Vitality

The winners of The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2016 in association with Vitality have been announced at a star-studded ceremony at the News UK headquarters in London Bridge.

The prestigious awards, now in their 29th year, celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational female figures.

Hosted by respected TV broadcaster Jill Douglas, the awards were attended by the London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, four-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny, tennis stars Judy Murray and Johanna Konta, rowing legend Katherine Grainger and members of Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning hockey team.

Neville Koopowitz, CEO of Vitality, said: “Many congratulations to all the winners from tonight’s event. Our ambition is to continue raising the profile of women in sport in the UK, it’s therefore a privilege to be involved in these awards. We believe it’s incredibly important that women have role models from the world of sport. So we hope that through our close association with inspirational female athletes we can encourage women of all ages and abilities to start getting active and make positive lifestyle changes.”

Eleanor Mills, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times said: “We are delighted to honour the outstanding sportswomen of the UK and Ireland in our annual sportswomen awards. This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our female athletes, and those who work tirelessly to promote women’s sport in their communities. Congratulations to our winners and all of the nominees.”

The judging panel of the Sportswomen of the Year Awards consisted of: Eleanor Oldroyd (BBC Radio 5 Live Broadcaster), Jill Douglas, Alex Butler (Sports Editor, The Sunday Times), Ruth Holdaway (Chief Executive, Women in Sport), Michele Hammond (‎Performance Adviser, UK Sport), Niccola Hutchinson-Pascal (Senior Programme Manager, Sport England), Liz McMahon (Strategic Adviser for Brand Governance, Marketing and Sponsorship Programmes, Sport and Recreation Alliance), Amanda Bennett (Managing Director, Fairplay Enterprises, Chrissy Fice (‎Head of Marketing, ‎Vitality) and Dame Di Ellis (Honorary President of British Rowing). The Community Award was voted for by members of the public.

The 2016 award winners:

The ultimate accolade for your favourite Sportswoman of 2016

Winner: Laura Kenny
Second place: Dame Sarah Storey (track & road cycling)
Third place: Jade Jones (taekwondo)

Also nominated: Nicola Adams (boxing), Charlotte Dujardin (equestrianism), Johanna Konta (tennis)

Presented by: Jessica Ennis-Hill

Celebrating the achievements of Britain’s successful collective efforts

Winner: Britain’s hockey squad

Presented by: Keith Kropman (Director of Marketing and Human Resources, Vitality) and Chrissy Fice (Head of marketing, Vitality)

The outstanding performance from the Rio Olympic Games

Winners: Helen Glover and Heather Stanning

Also nominated: Nicola Adams (boxing), Saskia Clark & Hannah Mills (sailing), Charlotte Dujardin (equestrian), Jade Jones (taekwondo), Laura Kenny (track cycling)

Presented by: Gail Emms

The outstanding performance from the Rio Paralympic Games

Winner: Kadeena Cox

Presented by: Ellie Simmonds

Nominees must have been 21 or younger on January 1, 2016

Winner: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor

Also nominated: Catie Munnings (motorsport), Ellie Robinson (swimming), Amy Tinkler (artistic gymnastics)

Presented by: Judy Murray


Winner: Hannah Francis


Winner: Professor Celia Brackenridge

For individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of people within their community through sport - voted for by the public

Winner: Kirsty Cameron (founder, Ladies Leisurely Cycles Facebook group)

Also nominated: June Adams (head coach, Ecco gymnastics club, Sheffield), Sue Robertson (founder, Disabled Golf Association), Lauren Gregory and Rebecca Chumun (co-organisers, Run Like A Girl group)

Presented by: Tanni Grey-Thompson


Notes to editors: 

The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2016 in association with Vitality are among the most prestigious and influential in the British sporting calendar. The previous winners of the main award, the coveted Sportswoman of the Year accolade, are:

1988    Olive Jones
1989    Kim Thomas
1990    Denise Smith
1991    Sally Gunnell
1992    Tanni Grey-Thompson
1993    Sally Gunnell
1994    Denise Lewis
1995    Lynn Simpson
1996    Laura Davies
1997    Alison Nicholas
1998    Denise Lewis
1999    Paula Radcliffe
2000    Denise Lewis
2001    Ellen MacArthur
2002    Paula Radcliffe
2003    Pippa Funnell
2004    Dame Kelly Holmes
2005    Zara Phillips
2006    No award
2007    Victoria Pendleton
2008    Nicole Cooke
2009    Chrissie Wellington
2010    Maggie Alphonsi
2011    Sarah Stevenson
2012    Jessica Ennis-Hill
2013    Christine Ohuruogu
2014    Charlotte Dujardin
2015    Jessica Ennis-Hill

About Vitality – changing health and life insurance for good
Vitality is the insurance business that helps people understand how they can improve their own personal health. Vitality makes it cheaper and easier for its members to get healthy and gives them rewards to keep them motivated, through a range of discounts and incentives.

Vitality believes in the power of sport to help inspire people to live a healthy life, which is why it partners with leading sports figures, teams and events to help share the Vitality message.

Vitality Ambassadors Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jonny Wilkinson, Joe Root and Maro Itoje are role models who embody the values of Vitality. They are all using their passion for living a healthy lifestyle to motivate others to make positive changes. Taking small steps today can dramatically improve wellbeing over the long-term, regardless of your current state of health.

Vitality is Official Wellness Partner of Arsenal FC, AFC Bournemouth, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, England Rugby, Scottish Rugby, Welsh Rugby, Cricket’s UK Test Match Grounds and England Netball. The business has also partnered with the RSPCA for Big Walkies, is title sponsor of the Vitality Run Series and Official Partner of The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards in association with Vitality.

VitalityHealth is one of the UK’s leading private medical insurers and has pioneered the ‘shared-value’ insurance model. This is a unique approach which delivers value for Vitality members through rewards and ultimately better health. Society as a whole also benefits, as do the company’s profits, which comes about as a result of people being healthier and claiming less often.

VitalityLife is one of the fastest growing life insurers in the UK. It is unique to the current UK protection market and its suite of products includes Life Cover, Income Protection Cover, Serious Illness Cover, Business Protection and other additional products. By recognising people's efforts to look after themselves, VitalityLife is able to offer a more comprehensive set of benefits than traditional providers at a very competitive price. 

For more information visit
About News UK
News UK is home to some of the biggest and most popular British newspapers. The Times and The Sunday Times are the world’s best-known quality newspapers, and The Sun remains the most read British newspaper with more than 11 million readers per week. While our papers have individual identities that reflect their different heritage, all look to break the most important stories, inform our readers, champion them and the causes closest to their hearts, and help them make sense of the modern world. Our titles have a weekly print reach of approximately 10.5 million readers, and represent around 32.5% of UK circulation of national dailies. Employing around 2,600 in operations spanning journalism, printing, distribution and back-office support across the UK, the direct and indirect contributions made by News UK businesses to UK GDP are considerable.

For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @NewsUK

For further information, please contact:
The Sunday Times: Emily Bayliss – 07824 820 008 – [email protected]
Vitality: Henry Robson – 07958 778 244 – [email protected]