Tag Archives: sportswoman

Jessica Ennis wants to keep Toni Minichiello at any cost

Ennis willing to pay to keep Minichiello after UK Athletics restructure sees him axed as Olympic coach

, has lost his job as an Olympic coach, becoming a high-profile casualty of UK Athletics' restructuring plan around a single High Performance Institute in Loughborough.

Ennis wants to keep training in her home city of Sheffield – potentially at a redeveloped Woodbourn Road Stadium with her current training base at Don Valley to be demolished – and Minichiello plans to stay with her.

He has no other Olympic or world medallists in his training group, meaning he will not be due a full-time UK Athletics salary.

had been in talks with the governing body, and it was thought he would
be offered a new consultancy role on reduced terms to work specifically
with Ennis, but it seems he will not be taking up any such offer.

on Monday about the possibility of helping fund Minichiello, Ennis
said: 'We have had a chat and if that is what it comes down to, then of
course I will just support him where I can, and we will just carry on.'

Award winning: Ennis was given the Laureus Sportswomen of the Year trophy on Monday night

Award winning: Ennis was given the Laureus Sportswomen of the Year trophy on Monday night

She added: 'There is not going to be any change – a lot of people have said, “Are you moving to another coach”

'No, everything is going to stay the same, but we just need to find a way of funding it.'

was speaking in Rio de Janeiro, where she was yesterday named Laureus
World Sportswoman of the Year in recognition of her heptathlon triumph
in London, achieved with a British record score of 6,955 points.

She has been keen to emphasise the part played by Minichiello in that success.

And while sure her coach can fight his own corner well enough, Ennis has also made it clear that she is there for him.

'I will obviously support Toni as much as I can, and I am there for him, because we are a team, but I do have to let him fight his own battles and get on with it,' Ennis said.

Support: The gold-medal winning athlete Ennis pledged Minichiello her backing

Support: The gold-medal winning athlete Ennis pledged Minichiello her backing

'But I do feel that we had such a great year together – it wasn't just me that performed, it was both of us who worked really hard for that performance in London.

'So it is just not a nice position to be in when you have done something so special, and then you find yourself in a really difficult situation after.'

Several of Ennis' fellow Britons also picked up awards at Monday night's Laureus ceremony, with Andy Murray claiming the World Breakthrough of the Year gong having followed up his own medal success at the Olympics – gold in the singles and silver in the mixed doubles – by winning his first grand slam title at the US Open.

Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the organising committee for London 2012, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and there was further recognition of a memorable year for British sport as the European Ryder Cup squad, which featured seven UK golfers, were named World Team of the Year after their 'Miracle of Medinah' comeback triumph over the United States.

Among the other winners was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, named World Sportsman of the Year for a third time after he claimed a treble of gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in London, repeating the hat-trick he pulled off at Beijing 2008.

Black Caviar named Australia"s sportswoman of the year ahead of Olympic gold-medallist Sally Pearson

Golden girl Pearson falls at the first and is beaten to national Aussie gong… by a horse!



13:48 GMT, 23 December 2012

Olympic gold-medallist Sally Pearson had to settle for the runner-up place in an Australian Sportswoman of the Year contest – after she was pipped at the post by a horse.

Racehorse Black Caviar is undefeated in 22 races, a record not matched in 100 years, and was handed the honour by two journalists at Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

Pearson has suffered shock losses before, but generally when pitted against her own species.

Top of the pile: Black Caviar was named Australia's Sportswoman of the year

Top of the pile: Black Caviar was named Australia's Sportswoman of the year

She fell at the first hurdle and lost to Kellie Wells in the last race before London 2012 and came back to top the table in the 100m, but quite how anyone could recover from being overlooked in favour of a horse is unclear.

Pearson will no doubt draw consolation from knowing one other horse made it into the shortlist of four female athletes.

Other prominent female athletes who were snubbed include members of Australia’s only Olympic gold medal in the pool, Cate Campbell, Alicia Coutts, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlange, along with gold-medallist cyclist Anna Meares.

Flying the flag: Sally Pearson won the Women's 100m final at the Olympics but it was not enough to win her national prize

Flying the flag: Sally Pearson won the Women's 100m final at the Olympics but it was not enough to win her national prize

Sports writers Phil Rothfield and Darren Hadland maintain the accolade was part of a light-hearted feature, but prompted a wave of angered reaction.

Channel Seven AFL commentator Tom Harley tweeted it was: 'plain offensive to all the inspirational sportswomen of Australia' while News Limited colleague, Mark Robinson, slammed the ‘award’, saying it was 'utterly embarrassing'.

Fewer complaints were heard for men’s category. Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke was named Sportsman of the Year for his four double centuries this year.

Jessica Ennis wins Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award

Golden girl Ennis caps stellar 2012 by winning Sportswoman of the Year award



09:38 GMT, 9 November 2012

Jessica Ennis has added the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award to her haul of accolades from a memorable 2012.

The 26-year-old won heptathlon gold at the London Olympics this summer, setting three personal bests and a British record of 6,995 points along the way.

Fellow Olympic gold medallists Katherine Grainger and Jade Jones also picked up awards at the ceremony, as did Paralympic champions Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds.

Iconic moment: Ennis crosses the line to win her final event - the 800m - before showing off her gold medal

Iconic moment: Ennis crosses the line to win her final event – the 800m – before showing off her gold medal

Iconic moment: Ennis crosses the line to win he final event - the 800m - before showing of her gold medal in London

Iconic moment: Ennis crosses the line to win her final event - the 800m - before showing off her gold medal

Golden girl: Ennis collects her medal

Golden girl: Ennis collects her medal

'It’s an incredible honour considering the amazing performances we’ve had this year from British women,' Ennis told BBC Sport.

'It’s so nice, once you’ve done all the hard work and you’ve achieved, to be awarded with these amazing awards that people have voted for.

'It’s a real honour and Sports Personality [BBC Sports Personality of the Year] is definitely going to be a big one too. It’s going to be a surprise on the night I think but a great evening.'

Ennis, from Sheffield, joins a list of previous winners that includes fellow athletes Paula Radcliffe, Denis Lewis and Dame Kelly Holmes as well as last year's winner, 2011 world taekwondo champion Sarah Stevenson.

Grainger – who finally won Olympic rowing gold alongside Anna Watkins in the double sculls having collected silver on three consecutive occasions previously – was named Olympian of the Year.

Jones, who won Britain's first Olympic taekwondo gold medal at the age of just 19, was voted young Olympian of the Year, while cyclist Storey won Paralympian of the Year and swimmer Simmonds young Paralympian of the Year.

British rower Grainger, a three-time Olympic silver medallist before she triumphed with Anna Watkins in the women’s double sculls in London, was voted Olympian of the Year.

Good things come to those who wait: Grainger (left) celebrates with Watkins

Good things come to those who wait: Grainger (left) celebrates with Watkins

Storey was named Paralympian of the Year after she equalled the British record for modern Paralympic victories when she took her fourth gold of the Games and 11th overall.

Jones, 19, who claimed Britain’s first Olympic taekwondo gold medal, was voted Young Olympian of the Year, while Ellie Simmonds, who won two golds, a silver and a bronze at the Paralympic Games this summer, was named Young Paralympian of the Year.

Goldrush: Simmonds (above) and Storey (below) were both outstanding during the Paralympics

Goldrush: Simmonds (above) and Storey (below) were both outstanding during the Paralympics

Goldrush: Simmonds (above) and Storey (below) were both outstanding during the Paralympics

Of the record 65 medals won by Team GB at London 2012, 25 were won by women, and at the Paralympics female competitors won 19 of 34 British golds.

Elsewhere, the Young Sportswoman of the Year award was shared by tennis duo Heather Watson and Laura Robson, while Olympic team pursuit gold medallists Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell took the Team of the Year award.

Paralympics 2012: British stars of the Games

10 British stars who will light up London at the Paralympic Games



22:00 GMT, 25 August 2012

After a stunning Olympics, Britain will be celebrating more glory at the Paralympic Games. Here are our top 10 athletes to follow in London over the next fortnight.


S6 Swimming
Where Aquatics Centre
When Sept 1-Sept 8

At 13, Simmonds was the youngest British athlete in Beijing in 2008 and won gold in the 100m and 400m freestyle. Four years on, her will to win endures. She broke her own world record at the Aquatics Centre at a test event earlier this year (the first person to do so) but is not content with that. She has a chance of four gold medals. In the fiercely competitive S6 category, Simmonds, who has dwarfism, faces tough opposition from Victoria Arlen, a paraplegic swimmer from the USA.


T35 100m and 200m
Where Olympic Stadium
When Aug 31 & Sept 7

Warner quit her 75,000-a-year career in marketing to devote herself to
the Paralympics. Until then, she was the primary earner for her husband,
Haydn, and two young children, Lucca and Felix. She then emailed
hundreds of potential sponsors. She trains with able-bodied sprinters
and says the fact she can run 100m in 17sec is ‘phenomenal’ as cerebral palsy means ‘communication between head and limbs is broken’.
After this, she will be the new commercial director for UK

Ellie Simmonds

Sophia Warner


T44 100m & 200m, F44 long jump
Where Olympic Stadium
When Sept 2 & 6, Sept 2

Reid, the only female amputee sprinter in the GB team, won bronze in Beijing for Canada, the country of her birth. But she now trains in Loughborough and had always wanted to compete for Britain, where her parents were born. Since switching in 2010, she has broken three world records. She has always been a talented sportswoman, and was tipped for a professional rugby career until she lost her right leg in a boating accident at 16. Now 27, she is producing a range of cereal bars.


F57 Javelin
Where Olympic Stadium
When Sept 8

A freight train cut Stephens almost in half on his ninth birthday as he
played on tracks near his home in Bridgend. But he says he would not
change the accident because ‘it has given me the life I have now, which I
love’. His preparation has been hampered by a shoulder injury but says
silver in London would be ‘a huge disappointment’. Stephens, 24, went to
Beijing in 2008 but was homesick, so it will help having his parents
and long-term girlfriend, Charlene, with him.

Stef Reid

Nathan Stephens


Wheelchair rugby, 2.5 classification
Where Basketball Arena
When Sept 5-9

Wheelchair rugby, tellingly dubbed murderball, is one of the most ferocious and watchable of Paralympic sports and Sehmi is a star. In a car accident at 19, he suffered a spinal cord injury which left him paralysed from the neck down. It was while Sehmi was recovering at Stoke Mandeville in 2000 that he met Bob O’Shea, former captain of GB. Five years later, Sehmi was playing elite level and in 2008 represented Britain in Beijing. The team finished fourth. Now they've a chance of a medal.


Rowing, single sculls ASM1x
Where Eton Dorney
When Sept 2

A first-team rugby player at Warwick University, where he was nearing
the end of his degree in biological sciences, and a member of the
Saracens development squad, Aggar fell 12 feet on to a concrete drive
in 2005. He knew instantly he had broken his back, leaving him paralysed
from the waist down. He took up rowing as part of his rehab and was a
natural, thanks in part to his broad shoulders and 6ft 3in height. He
won gold in Beijing in 2008 and is unbeaten in the single sculls ever

Mandip Sehmi

Tom Aggar


Wheelchair racing, T34 100m/200m
Where Olympic Stadium
When Aug 31 & Sept 6

Cockroft was the first athlete to break a world record in the Olympic Stadium at a test event in May. She is so completely dominant in the 100m and 200m, it is difficult to envisage a scenario where she will not take at least two golds back north with her after the Games. Cockroft, 19, says celebrations might involve a holiday to Magaluf in Majorca.


Archery, individual compound
Where RA Barracks, Woolwich
When Sept 4

In 2010, Brown was part of the able-bodied England archery team who won
Commonwealth gold, despite a disability – reflex sympathetic dystrophy –
that causes constant feet pain. In 2007 she put her degree on
hold to compete in Beijing, where she won gold in the
individual compound. Brown, 24, has a younger sister Georgia, who's a
member of GB junior team.

Hannah Cockroft

Danielle Brown


Five-a-side football, B1 classification
Where Riverbank Arena
When Aug 31–Sept 8

Clarke, 41, is the veteran of the blind football team and five-time European Golden Boot winner. London 2012 will be his final tournament as an international. A senior partner at Clydesdale Bank, he spent a day last year teaching David Beckham blind football. The goalkeepers are fully sighted, squads are 10 strong with rolling substitutions and the ball has ballbearings in it. But Beckham will have liked its power and finesse.


Sitting volleyball
Where ExCeL Centre
When Aug 31-Sept 7

Wright was one of the worst injured survivors of the July 7 London
bombings in 2005, losing both legs. She had been out the night
before celebrating London would be hosting the 2012 Games. She
spent eight months rebuilding her life and learning to walk again at
Queen Mary Hospital and trains with the GB sitting
volleyball team twice a week. Since the attacks, Wright has learned to
fly light aircraft, rediscovered her love for skiing and married.

David Clarke

Martine Wright