This week sees Scottish Women in Sport host their annual awards for women in sport in Scotland. I’ve been lucky to have attended every awards dinner and event since the inception of the excellent SWiS and love the work the organisation does under the guidance of its CEO, Maureen McGonigle. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this year’s ceremony – on Friday 26th November at the Glasgow Central Hotel – as I’ll be working, ironically in women’s sport, exec producing the Scotland v Ukraine World Cup qualifier.
I’m disappointed to miss it as I love listening to the big build up to the award winners, and hearing from the winners themselves. The nominees and winners always consist of incredible women with incredible stories of tenacity and strength in the face of adversity, because that’s where we still are with women in sport, fighting for equality. It’s getting better (but not good enough, far from it) and I’ve always been a huge advocate of doing what I can to ensure that women’s voices are heard and celebrated. I have the great privilege of showcasing live and studio coverage of women in sport via my executive producer job with Nemeton TV for BBC ALBA; and through my company purpleTV I have been able to tell stories about powerful women like Elena Baltacha, Rose Reilly, Laura Montgomery and Carol Anne Stewart of Glasgow City FC and the pioneers of women’s golf in Scotland.
Just now, I’m making films about Sadie Smith, the grandmother of Eddi Reader, who was a huge football star in Scotland in the 1920s and 30s (whose story has been largely ignored or forgotten) and Julie Fleeting, the absolute superstar of modern football. Lots of astonishing women have, behind the scenes, made it possible for these women to excel and I always remember them in the work that I do. We are after all a community, with the same goal.
Anyway, I digress, I’m also gutted to be missing the awards this year as I have been nominated for an award! I know, me! I’m utterly thrilled that I am a finalist in a new category, sponsored by Active Scotland, that recognises contribution to gender equality in the media. I am definitely all about that and so are the other finalists, Claire Nelson and Heather Dewar. Good luck to them both and all the amazing women who will be celebrated, and will celebrate, on the night. Bit by bit, together, we can make a difference.
And here’s to a Scotland win on Friday! Do keep up with SWiS online and learn more about the nominees and their stories, and the sponsors that help ensure women in sport get the platform they deserve.