Australian Olympic Cyclist, Anna Meares (pictured) was named the 2012 Women’s Health (most popular) Sports Woman of the Year, at the I Support Women In Sport awards held in Sydney last night.
The only award of the night not decided by the voting public, went to Paralympian Jacqueline Freney who’s stand-out performance at the 2012 Paralympics, earned her the Prime Minister’s Women in Sport Award.
Unable to attend the awards gala in Sydney, Anna Meares sent her friend Alexandra Bright along to accept the ‘popularity’ award on her behalf.
Anna Meares says she was blown away by the number of votes she received to win the 2012 Women’s Health Sports Woman of the Year award. “It shows me that I have been able to reach so many people through both my actions and my words and by doing that I know I’ve done a good job. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this award.”
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, wasn’t able to attend but delivered a message via video wherein she was critical of media coverage of women’s sport.
“What a year it’s been. Every Nation at the Olympics fielding female competitors for the first time in history. Lauren Jackson holding our flag high. But with the highs, some lows; elite sportswomen flying economy while the men stretched out in business… Women securing just 10 per cent of sports coverage,” said Ms Gillard.
“The I Support Women in Sport Awards are a loud, proud challenge to this status quo, a bid to make the names of our sportswomen household names.”
Julia Gillard also praised the inaugural winner of the Prime Minister’s Women in Sport Award, Jacqueline Freney.
“Jacqueline Freney’s eight gold medals from eight events at the 2012 Paralympics made her the most successful athlete of any Paralympic Games in history. A star in the making, a star of her own making, thrilling in action, inspirational in her determination, a true Australian champion.”
Sports Minister Kate Lundy presented the award to Jacqueline Freney, on behalf of the Prime Minister.
The other category award winners included: Brittany Broben (The One to Watch), Leisel Jones (Service to the Sport), Bridie Kean (Fair Fighter), Julie Hoffman (Local Heroine), Lauren Jackson (Leadership Legend), Sally Pearson (Moment of the Year), Giann Rooney (Woman of Sporting Words), and the Melbourne Vixens netball team.
The full list of winners will be published in the January issue of Women’s Health which goes on sale Monday December 10, 2012.