BBC News is announcing a ground-breaking initiative with the launch of a prestigious award to celebrate the contribution of India’s finest sportswomen. The BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2019 award winner will be voted for online by audiences worldwide on BBC Indian Language platforms and on BBC Sport.
The award honours exceptional Indian female athletes and players, highlighting stories of inspiring sportswomen and encouraging aspiring and emerging talent in all sports categories, including para-athletes in India. This award will be part of a BBC focus on increasing women and youth sports engagement in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Jamie Angus, Director BBC World Service says, “The BBC is committed to improving the representation of women in the news and I’m delighted that the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year Award 2019 will deliver on that aim for our growing audiences. This award gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in all types of sport in India.’’
“I am very excited that we are launching this initiative that is close to my own heart. It is very important for us to highlight the fantastic achievements that many of our female sports personalities have had but also to highlight the huge challenges many have faced and to raise the profile of women’s sport. I encourage everyone to support this initiative and vote for the best Indian Sportswoman of 2019’’ added Rupa Jha, Head of Indian Languages, BBC News.
The winner of BBC India Sportswoman of the Year 2019 will be voted for by fans from a shortlist compiled by a jury of sports journalists, experts and sportswriters across India. Feature stories on the journey of five nominees, their hurdles and success story will broadcast once the jury nomination results are out and online voting will open for fans in early February 2020. The selected winner will be announced on the 8th of March, 2020 in New Delhi.
“This coveted award will be given to the Indian Sportswoman of 2019 and I’m looking forward to seeing the fans vote their favourite athlete of the year on BBC Sport’’, says Ian Singleton, BBC Sport Online Editor.
Also, a legendary sportswoman who has contributed exceptionally to the field of Indian sports will be honoured by the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the awards night in March 2020.