Sarah Powell, CEO of Sport Wales – sponsors of this year’s Women in Sport category – tells us why strong female role models should be celebrated.

— Sport is well and truly woven into the fabric of Welsh life. We are a proud sporting nation with an unmistakable passion for both the sports we play and winning on an international stage.

The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and the 2014 Commonwealths in Glasgow were huge successes for Team GB and Welsh women shone on the podiums of each.

From Jade Jones and Hannah Mills winning gold and silver in London to Frankie Jones, — Natalie Powell, and — Jazz Carlin making up a record number of female athletes who won medals in eight sports at Glasgow, outperforming their male counterparts for the first time in Commonwealth history.

And this success continues as women make up the first Welsh athletes selected for next year’s Rio Olympics.

We want the fact that sport is very much a part of women’s lives in Wales to be recognised.

There is no doubting that we have strong female role models in Welsh sport at elite level, but I know that in community sport we also have women who are making huge strides in tackling stereotypes and getting the nation moving.

Yet the stubborn gap between men and women taking part in sport still exists.

This is why we are proud to sponsor this year’s Women in Sport category.

Categories such as theseare important for helping to champion the fantastic work of Welsh women who are trying to close that gap and get more women and girls into sport.

We want the fact that sport is very much a part of women’s lives in Wales to be recognised.

We know there are a wealth of truly inspiring projects and people who have worked tirelessly to prove to women and girls that they do have a place in sport.

Equality is important to us at Sport Wales.

Not just on the field. We’ve worked hard to ensure a diverse and equal board where women sit alongside men at the table and become the decision-makers.

We need to celebrate these women, alongside the female coaches, players, volunteers and champions, and use them as positive examples of what can be achieved if we work together as one to promote equality and fair play, both on and off the field.

 

Follow Sarah on @spcawl10.