England’s Lionesses have followed up Sunday’s European Championship Qualifier win against Bosnia and Herzegovina with another end of year high after scooping the prestigious BT Sport Action Woman of the Year Award.This follows their incredible performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada this summer where they finished in third place. The award, now in its third year, recognises the ten most outstanding sporting achievements by female athletes over the past 12 months.
Rio Ferdinand was on hand to present the England squad with their trophy at the awards ceremony, hosted by Clare Balding, which was broadcast live on BT Sport 1, BT Sport Showcase and btsport.com at 7.30pm this evening.
The Lionesses ran out worthy winners in a tough field of nominees after their fantastic performance at the Women’s World Cup earlier this year, which captured the attention of the nation. Mark Sampson’s side made it to the semi-finals after impressive victories in the knockout stages against Norway, and the tournaments hosts, Canada. They eventually lost 2-1 to Japan in the semi-finals in heart-breaking fashion after a last minute own-goal, but bounced back to beat the world no.1 team, Germany, 1-0 in extra-time in the third-place play off.
Runners up of the award were the England Hockey Team following their achievement in becoming European Champions earlier this year. Third place went to 2013 Action Woman Award winner, Rachel Atherton, who this year became the World Downhill Biking Champion and winner of the World Cup Series. Other nominees included, Nicola Adams, Lizzie Armitstead, Georgina Hermitage, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Johanna Konta, Sarah Outen, and the Oxford Women’s Boat Race crew.
Lionesses’ captain and Manchester City defender, Steph Houghton said: “We are all so happy to receive the BT Sport Action Woman Award, not just for us as a team, but for women’s football as whole. There were so many other talented sportswomen on the shortlist, so to win this award is a real honour. We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us and has supported us throughout such an incredible year and we hope we can bring our fans more success in the future.”
Head of BT Sport, Simon Green, said: “We are so pleased to be presenting the Lionesses this year’s BT Sport Action Woman Award after their outstanding performance at the World Cup. Celebrating the successes of this country’s female athletes is why we started this award and to have another strong list of nominees proves that women’s sport is thriving and we look forward to another strong year which will be made even more special with the Olympics taking place.”
Notes to editors
BT Sport Showcase is on Freeview channel 59.
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