Last night, Women’s Health celebrated its sixth annual Women’s Health I Support Women in Sport Awards in Sydney, supporting and recognising all the fabulous accomplishments of women in sport over the past year.
Attended by a swag of successful Aussie sporting identities, including Anna Meares, Sally Pearson, Cate & Bronte Campbell, Emma Mckeon, Chloe Esposito, Caroline Buchanan and Melissa Wu, guests were treated to champagne on arrival, performances of “I Still Call Australia Home” by The Australian Girls’ Choir and a valuable gift bag at the close of the evening.
Aussie former pro surfer, Layne Beachley, was inducted into the Hall of Fame during the ceremony, an honour previously held by ‘Madame Butterfly’ Susie O’Neill in 2015, and which celebrates a female athlete whose outstanding contribution to her sport has made her legendary.
Olympic gold medallist rower, Kim Brennan received top gong as 2016 Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year, whilst Olympic pentathlon gold medallist Chloe Esposito proudly accepted the hotly contested Moment of the Year accolade.
The judges said, “Chloe’s win was a triumph that no one saw coming. Before Rio, she was ranked outside the top 100. She made an incredible sprint to the finish line for an unforgettable win. It was the first time Australia has ever won a medal in the modern pentathlon.”
Michelle Payne was recognised by the Australian Federal Government as the country’s most Outstanding Woman in Sport for her show-stopping finish at the 2015 Melbourne Cup, where she became the first female jockey in history to win the Melbourne Cup race. Michelle Payne also received the Readers’ Choice for Moment of the Year.
Category winners included:
Hall of Fame – LAYNE BEACHLEY AO, Former Professional Surfer
Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year – KIM BRENNAN, Rowing
Moment of the Year – CHLOE ESPOSITO, Pentathlon
Moment of the Year (Reader’s Choice) – MICHELLE PAYNE, Horseracing
A-Team of the Year – AUSTRALIAN WOMENS SEVENS, Rugby
Leadership Legend – ANNA MEARES, Cycling
Fair Fighter – LIESL TESCH, Paralympic Sailing & RUAN SIMS, Rugby
Local Heroine – JOSIE JANZ-DAWSON, Netball
One to Watch – ELLA NELSON, Athletics
Person of Sporting Influence – MOYA DODD, FFA and FIFA Executive
Australian Federal Government Award for Outstanding Woman in Sport – MICHELLE PAYNE
Women’s Health editor, Felicity Harley said, “What an exciting 12 months it has been for women in sport. Our female athletes have been inspirational both on and off the field. It is an honour to toast their achievements tonight.”
General manager of Women’s Health, Jackie Frank added that 2016 had been a year of inspirational ‘firsts’ for women in sport.
“For the first time ever, more than half our Australian Olympic team were women. For the first time ever, we saw a prime time telecast of the AFL women’s league, which reached more than a million viewers,” she said.
“There has been a shift in the public psyche when it comes to women in sport and an increased appetite for coverage, you can feel the change in the air.
“It’s with this in mind that Women’s Health will work with our partners to provide more opportunities, awareness, training, employment and support that assists female athletes. Last night we announced the launch of our new initiative #WINS.
“An extension of I Support Women In Support, WINS is an integrated, support network for Australian female athletes, which aims to inspire, encourage and support female athletes of all levels through funding, training, mentoring and employment opportunities.”