20 inspirational women in sport

Martine Wright, sitting volleyball player

1. Martine Wright, sitting volleyball player

Despite losing both legs in the 2005 London bombings, former marketing manager Martine joined a volleyball team that will now be representing Britain at the Paralympics. For your courage and sporting excellence, Martine, we salute you.

Read more about the Zest 20 inspirational women in sport in the June 2012 issue of Zest magazine.

Let us know which women inspire YOU in sport: post to our Twitter feed @Zestmagazine using the hashtag #ZestIWIS or post a comment on our facebook page facebook.com/zestmagazine


Helen Skelter, TV presenter

2. Helen Skelton, TV presenter

Braving sub-zero temperatures and blizzards, this uber-tough Blue Peter presenter travelled a staggering 500 miles across the Antarctic by ski, bike and kite. Rather you than us, Helen...


Jessica Ennis, heptathlete

3. Jessica Ennis, heptathlete

With her grounded attitude, skill on the track and healthy covergirl girl looks, heptathlete Jessica Ennis is a fabulous role model and the epitome of athletic inspiration.


Sarah Stevenson, World Taekwondo champion

4. Sarah Stevenson, World Taekwondo champion

On her journey for going for gold, 28-year-old Sarah showed utmost bravery whilst nursing her parents through terminal cancer. Going for gold at the Olympics in 2012n is about so much more than just the medal. Sarah, we're rooting for you.


Gabby Logan, sports broadcaster

5. Gabby Logan, sports broadcaster

She's blazed a trail for women in the notoriously male-dominated world of football, and we also salute Gabby this year for turning society on its head by confronting sex discrimination in her BBC documentary ‘Sexism in Football’. Up the lasses, we say!

Read more about the Zest 20 inspirational women in sport in the June 2012 issue of Zest magazine


Anne Dunham

6. Anne Dunham, dressage rider

The queen of dressage has won four gold medals at consecutive Paralympic Games despite using a wheelchair for 30 years because of her multiple sclerosis, rightly earning her the title Sunday Times Disabled Sportswoman of the Year.


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

7. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, campaigner

Her Paralympic skills have won her a staggering11 gold medals, but it’s hBaroness Tanni's tireless championing of disabled sport that earns her a place on our inspirational list.


Paula Radcliffe

8. Paula Radcliffe, marathon runner

No other athlete shouts determination more than Paula Radcliffe. Current world record holder for the marathon distance, an Olympic gold has so far eluded her. Could 2012 be her year?


MP Tessa Jowell

9. Tessa Jowell, MP

Tessa bravely took on the two male bastions of sport and politics with her determination to win the London Olympic bid in 2005. Without her, this summer would look very different.


Rebecca Romero, athlete

10. Rebecca Romero, athlete

If you’ve ever thought it’s too late to learn something new, think again! With a silver medal in rowing, and a gold in cycling, this year Rebecca decided to try her hand at the Ironman Triathlon.  

Read more about the Zest 20 inspirational women in sport in the June 2012 issue of Zest magazine


Charlotte Edwards, England cricket captain

11. Charlotte Edwards, England cricket captain

Charlotte is a proud captain to the world’s best women’s cricket team and after a clean sweep of 14 victories in New Zealand, they’ll no doubt keep rivals on their toes...


Julia Immonen, charity rower and record breaker

12. Julia Immonen, charity rower and record breaker

A bit of team effort goes a long way, and Julia is proof. After gathering a group of friends, they set the world record for being the fastest team of female rowers to cross the Atlantic.


Clare Balding, BBC sports presenter

13. Clare Balding, BBC sports presenter

Prepare to see a lot of Clare Balding on your screens this summer, as she’ll be championing every sport the Olympics has to offer.


Hope Powell, GB football coach

14. Hope Powell, GB football coach

After 14 successful years at the helm of the England women’s team, Hope's expertise on the pitch and off is already showing the boys how things should be done.


Shelley Rudman, skeleton bobsleigh rider

15. Shelley Rudman, skeleton bobsleigh rider

There is no ballsier sport than hurling yourself headfirst down an ice track on a sled the size of a tea tray, so imagine our admiration when Shelley won this year’s skeleton World Champion.

Read more about the Zest 20 inspirational women in sport in the June 2012 issue of Zest magazine


Sue Tibballs, chief executive, Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation

16. Sue Tibballs, chief executive, Women's sport and Fitness Foundation

This year Sue’s aim was to bring together politicians to champion women’s sport in Parliament and encourage more women to get active. So go on, get on that treadmill!


Dame Kelly Holmes, olympic champion

17. Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic champion

With 2 gold medals in the bag, Dame Kelly is now dedicating her time to mentoring young athletes. So prepare to see a new generation of Kelly Holmes inspired athletes grace our tracks...


Barbara Slater, BBC photo

Barbara Slater, BBC director of sport

Faced with the task of providing 2,000 hours of live sports coverage for the Olympics, Barbara and her team will be the ones to thank for those memorable moments on screen this summer.

Picture: BBC


Ellen White, footballer

19. Ellen White, footballer

Think Wayne Rooney, but better. Part of the Arsenal Ladies club, Ellen was voted England’s footballer of the year. She’s definitely one to watch.


Chemmy Alcott, alpine skier

20. Chemmy Alcott, alpine skier

Nothing can deter Chemmy from her love of skiing, not even when she broke her leg into two places last year. After learning to ice skate as a means of recovering, we can’t help but applaud her determination.

Read more about the Zest 20 inspirational women in sport in the June 2012 issue of Zest magazine.

Let us know which women inspire YOU in sport: post to our Twitter feed @Zestmagazine using the hashtag #ZestIWIS or post a comment on our facebook page facebook.com/zestmagazine