Host of Bath-connected athletes on Awards shortlists

04 December 2014

A host of Bath-based athletes are featuring on a glittering list of Awards short-lists.

Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold could be in line for a major awards double ahead of her return to competitive action on the FIBT World Cup circuit next week.

The 25-year-old – who trains with British Skeleton at the University of Bath – has been shortlisted for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014 (SPOTY), as well as the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year 2014 award.

Also in the SPOTY running is alpine skier Kelly Gallagher, the visually-impaired University of Bath mathematics graduate who famously teamed up with guide Charlotte Evans to win Britain’s first-ever Winter Paralympic gold in Sochi.

Olympic skeleton champion Yarnold could be on for a double
Olympic skeleton champion Yarnold could be on for a double

Joining them on the ten-strong shortlist are golfer Rory McIlroy, footballer Gareth Bale, gymnast Max Whitlock, F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, swimmer Adam Peaty, boxer Carl Froch and dressage star Charlotte Dujardin.

The event, in its 61st year, will take place on Sunday, December 14 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and be televised live on BBC1. The public will be able to vote for their favourite on the night.

Yarnold will find out if she has won BT Sport’s Action Woman of the Year award when the presentation ceremony takes place on Wednesday, December 10.

Among her competitors are British Rowing’s Olympic women’s pair champions Heather Stanning, a University of Bath sports technology graduate, and Helen Glover, who started her career on the Start programme at the University of Bath.

Their outstanding partnership reaped further rewards during 2014 when they won a first World Championship together in Amsterdam following Stanning’s return from serving with the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan.

The other contenders for the Action Woman of the Year prize are England Women’s cricket captain Charlotte Edwards, former RUH physio and European 10,000m gold medallist Jo Pavey, Charlotte Dujardin, wheelchair tennis champion Jordanne Whiley, double bouldering champion Shauna Coxsey, England footballer Fara Williams, Rugby World Cup winner Emily Scarratt and Bristol gymnast Claudia Fragapane.

Voting closed this week and the winner will be announced by Clare Balding live on BT Sport.

Yarnold, no doubt, will also be a top contender – along with Britain’s rowers and potentially Gallagher – at the Sports Journalists’ Award lunch on December 11th.

“It’s wonderful that so many athletes with Bath connections are on these Award shortlists even if it makes the decision on voting very difficult as we may all have somewhat divided loyalties”, said a Team Bath spokesperson today.

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