We WILL go to the Sports Personality of the Year awards! BOA chiefs in boycott U-turn
British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt WILL attend Thursday”s BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, despite the organisation”s unhappiness that no female athletes are on the 10-strong shortlist.
Hunt and BOA chairman Lord Moynihan had considered boycotting the Salford awards ceremony, thanks to the omissions of athletes like Rebecca Adlington and Chrissie Wellington, but have now decided the BOA should appear at the event.
U-turn: Andy Hunt will be attending Thursday”s awards show
Excluded: female athletes like Adlington were not on the shortlist
Other commitments: BOA Chairman Colin Moynihan will not be attending – but not as part of a boycott
Moynihan will not be present due to afamily commitment, but Hunt will be at the event – in order to support some of the award nominees who have Olympic links.
ABOA spokesman said: “As there are several award nominees who have ties to the British Olympic movement, we believe it is important to have a senior BOA official on hand to support and recognise those athletes.”
Previously, the BOA had criticised the BBC awards competition”s shortlist, saying:
“The Sports Personality of the Year is a prestigious honour and, typically, the BBC does a fantastic job recognising truly deserving sports men and women.
“This year, however, there were some glaring omissions from the list.
“Whether we attend this year is less important than what happens with the award in the future.
But the BOA were pleased the BBC have agreed to review the nomination process for future editions of the awards ceremony:
Not this time: Jonathan Trott, Sarah Stevenson, Mark Cavendish, Chrissie Wellington and Andy Flower at the SJA 2011 Sports Awards – but only Cavendish can win at the BBC ceremony
“To that end, we are encouraged to see that the BBC will review the process by which the finalists and winners are chosen in subsequent years.
“Withnext year being an Olympic year – and such an important year for British sport – this review is timely and will no doubt lead to an even better process going forward.”
This is an issue the BOA should feel strongly about – not least because almost half of the British 2012 Olympics team are female athletes.
Four-time Ironman world championship winner Wellington posted on Twitter when the shortlist was released:
“No women in @bbcspoty top ten. It”s not about me, it”s about the need to celebrate achievements of so many female GBR athletes. Disgraceful.”