Meet the judges

The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards in association with Citi are an opportunity to celebrate how far women in sport have come, and to look ahead to an even more equal future.


It is a moment when the women involved in sport take centre stage for their contributions, whether elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers or inspirational figures. And a time to recognise that, for women, as a past Grassroots Award nominee told us, “I’m not being big-headed, but it is 10 times harder.”


A public vote chooses the winners of the Grassroots Award, Changemaker Award, and Team of the Year Award, with the remaining accolades awarded by an incredible cast of expert judges with scores of Olympic medals and sporting records held between them.


Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill DBE

Ennis-Hill stole the nation’s heart in the 2012 Olympics, when she won gold in the heptathlon on Super Saturday. Since then, she has become a three-time world champion, two-time winner of Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Award and has been made a Dame in 2017.

Rebecca Adlington OBE

In 2008, Adlington became the first British swimmer to win two gold medals at the Olympics for a hundred years. She has competed in four Olympic finals over two Games, and won two gold and two bronze medals. Since retiring in 2013, she has joined the BBC punditry team for the Rio Olympics and the World Championships, among others.

Lauren Steadman MBE

Lauren Steadman is the current Paralympic Triathlon Champion in the Women’s Individual PTS5 race, three-time World Champion and seven-time European Champion. Lauren was born without her lower right arm and has proudly represented Team GB in the paratriathlon’s inaugural entry to the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016 where Lauren achieved the Silver medal.

Five years later Lauren returned to the Games stronger than ever at Tokyo 2020. Lauren made history as she crossed the finish line in Tokyo winning the Paralympic Champion title for Team GB. It was the culmination of a 16 year dream and the final medal to complete her arsenal of titles.

Helen Glover MBE

Glover started rowing four years before she won a gold medal at the London Olympics. Seven years later, she is a two time Olympic champion, triple world champion, quintuple World Cup champion and triple European champion.

Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE

One of Britain’s greatest ever paralympic athletes and wheelchair racers, Grey-Thompson has won 11 Olympic gold medals and four gold world championships medals. Since retiring she has served as a board member for the London Marathon, as well as sitting in the House of Lords.

Ama Agbeze MBE

Agbeze captained the England Netball team to their historic gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It made them the first England netball team to ever win gold in the tournament. Agbeze currently plays for London Pulse and is a Sky commentator for this summer’s netball World Cup. She was awarded an MBE in 2019.

Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE

Richardson-Walsh captained England and Great Britain’s hockey team for 13 years, and was part of the gold medal winning team at the 2016 Olympics. In the same year, Richardson-Walsh became the first hockey player to be shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and is the most-capped female hockey player in her country’s history.

Ellie Simmonds OBE

Simmonds was 13 years old when she won her first two gold medals for swimming at the Summer Paralympics in Beijing. She has since won three more, including two in London 2012, and has set several world records. In 2009 she became the youngest person ever to receive an MBE.
In Rio 2016 she proved she was still a force to be reckoned with, breaking the world record in the 200m individual medley by swimming under three minutes for the first time (2:59.81) and winning her fifth Paralympic gold.