BBC must celebrate our women sporting stars – Jo

Local MP Jo Swinson met with representatives from the BBC to discuss how women in sport can be better promoted

Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire and fellow MP Stella Creasy, last week met with Barbara Slater, Director of Sport and Neil Land, Chief Advisor and Business Manager from the BBC. The meeting was called following the all male shortlist for the 2011 Sports Personality of the Year award.

The BBC have agreed to review their shortlisting process after they drew criticism from some of Britain’s leading sports stars, politicians and members of the public, who were surprised at the shortlist of ten men given the number of women world champions last year.

Commenting Jo said:

“The all male shortlist is part and parcel of the larger issue of the lack of coverage for female sports. There are so many amazing female athletes, from the professionals like Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Ennis, to the local girls who take to the pitch at the Rossvale FC and West of Scotland.”

During our meeting I was assured that the list typically recognises truly deserving sports men and women. Despite last year’s glaring omissions the issue now is how to move forward and ensure female athletes are recognised for the award in the future.”

“Given the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, hopefully there will be better recognition of the efforts of both men and women in their sporting endeavours.”

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