Judy Murray has said the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year should introduce a new prize just for women to boost role models in sport and encourage women’s participation
The BBC‘s Sports Personality of the Year should introduce a new prize just for women, Judy Murray has said.
The sports coach hoped the introduction of a new prize would level the playing field for women in sports and promote equality in sport as no woman has won the prize in the last decade.
‘If you can see it, you can be it,’ says Ms Murray.
‘Role models are hugely important in inspiring the next generation; look at the surge of interest in women’s football that has come with the success of the Lionesses.’
The last time a woman was handed the coveted title was in 2006 – the longest time a woman has not won since the BBC show began.
The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall took home the prize in recognition for her equestrian achievements.
Only 13 women have won the BBC award since 1954, including Anita Lonsborough, the first to win the prize in 1962 for swimming, Princess Anne in 1971 for equestrian eventing and more recently Paula Radcliffe and Kelly Holmes for athletics.
But Ms Murray says more ‘consistency’ is needed to boost role models in sport and encourage participation.
Ms Murray’s tennis star son Andy (pictured right with his mother) is the only person to have won the award three times – the same number of times the prize has been handed to women in the last 20 years
She said: ‘Every four years or so a Jessica Ennis-Hill will emerge and raise the profile of her discipline but we need more consistency.
‘The better women perform, the more watchable they are. The more watchable they are, the more visible they are.
‘And the more visible they are the more sponsorship they will receive. That is what will determine equality.’
Last year the title was awarded to cricketer Ben Stokes, while racing cyclist Geraint Thomas was the recipient the year before.
Ms Murray’s son Andy is the only person to have won the award three times – the same number of times the prize has been handed to women in the last 20 years.
But she told the Mail on Sunday the tennis star has always pushed for equality and more female representation.
‘Andy in particular has always been good at speaking out for women,’ she said.
‘He was also the first top male player to take on a female coach and he speaks up consistently about equality, which has a really big impact, ironically, because he’s a man.
The last time a woman was handed the coveted title was Zara Tindall (picturd left with Olympic diver Tom Daley) in 2006 – the longest time a woman has not won since the BBC show began
Ms Murray, pictured with tennis star son Andy, added that representation and equality in sport comes at both a high level and needs to be changed at a granular level
‘This isn’t just about women; the importance of male advocacy to effect change is huge.’
Ms Murray, who appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, added that representation and equality in sport comes at both a high level and needs to be changed at a granular level.
She said: ‘We need far more plug sockets in changing rooms so girls know they can dry or straighten their hair after training.
‘I’ve always worn my hair short because it was easier to manage; but the world has changed, social media has made even young girls a lot more conscious of their appearance and we have to adapt.’
The BBC was contacted for comment.
From figure skaters to Formula One racers: The previous winners of Sports Personality of the Year
2019 – Ben Stokes, cricket
2018 – Geraint Thomas, cycling
2017 – Mo Farah, athletics
2016 – Andy Murray, tennis
2015 – Andy Murray, tennis
2014 – Lewis Hamilton, Formula One
2013 – Andy Murray, tennis
2012 – Bradley Wiggins, cycling
2011 – Mark Cavendish, cycling
2010 – Tony McCoy, horse racing
2009 – Ryan Giggs, football
2008 – Chris Hoy, cycling
2007 – Joe Calzaghe, boxing
2006 – Zara Phillips, equestrian eventing
2005 – Andrew Flintoff, Cricket
2004- Kelly Holmes, athletics
2003- Jonny Wilkinson, rugby union
2002- Paula Radcliffe, althletics
2001- David Beckham, football
2000- Steve Redgrave, rowing
1999- Lennox Lewis, boxing
1998- Michael Owen, football
1997- Greg Rusedski, tennis
1996- Damon Hill, Formula One
1995- Jonathan Edwards, athletics
1994- Damon Hill, Formula One
1993- Lindford Chistie, althletics
1992- Nigel Mansell, Formula One
1991-Liz McColgan, athletics
1990- Paul Gascoigne, football
1989 – Nick Faldo, golf
1988 – Steve Davis, snooker
1987 – Fatima Whitbread, athletics
1986 – Nigel Mansell, Formula One
1985 – Barry McGuigan, boxing
1984 – Torvill and Dean, figure skating
1983 – Steve Cram, athletics
1982 – Daley Thompson, athletics
1981 – Ian Botham, cricket
1980 – Robin Cousins, figure skating
1979 – Sebastian Coe, athletics
1978 – Steve Ovett, athletics
1977 – Virginia Wade, tennis
1976 – John Curry, figure skating
1975 – David Steele, cricket
1974 – Brendan Foster, athletics
1973 – Jackie Stewart, Formula One
1972 – Mary Peters, athletics
1971 – Princess Anne, equestrian eventing
1970 – Henry Cooper, boxing
1969 – Ann Jones, tennis
1968 – David Hemery, athletics
1967 – Henry Cooper, boxing
1966 – Bobby Moore, footballs
1965 – Tom Simpson, cycling
1964 – Mary Rand, athletics
1963 – Dorothy Hyman, athletics
1962 – Anita Lonsborough, swimming
1961 – Stirling Moss, Formula One
1960 – Dabid Broome, show jumping
1959 – John Surtees, motorcycle racing
1958 – Ian Black, swimming
1957 – Dai Rees, golf
1956 – Jim Laker, cricket
1955 – Gordon Pirie, athletics
1954 – Christopher Chataway, athletics