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A number of factors have converged to make this particular moment in British sporting history significant and it’s hard to know which came first.
It could be the England women’s rugby, cricket and football teams largely professionalising with a resulting outpouring of success.
But the boom goes way beyond the accountants’ spreadsheets.
The performance power of multi-tasking women is being increasingly valued in boardrooms. It is not just women’s sport that is proffering opportunities, but male domains too. And even there, Eva Carneiro, the Chelsea First Team doctor, is probably allowed in with her sponge.
There is less acceptance of women taking up merely decorative positions. No wonder it feels like a new dawn.1Barbara Slater BBC Director of Sport Slater is responsible for 20,000 hours of global sports coverage across radio, TV and online each year.
They are forging alliances, doing key deals and, in Jess Ennis-Hill’s case, looking after one-year-old Reggie with her husband while preparing for the heptathlon at the World Championships. She orchestrated the BBC’s entire coverage of London 2012 – and has been instrumental in getting women’s sport more attention, including this summer’s Lionesses.2Tracey Crouch Minister for Sport At last, a Sports Minister who lives and breathes sport.
She has 58 caps to her name, plays for an integrated men’s and women’s football club, MCWFC, and is a treasured example for young girls .5Jessica Ennis-Hill Athlete and Olympic Heptathlon Champion Ennis-Hill is the current Olympic champion and British record-holder in the heptathlon and has qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, less than a year after giving birth to her son Reggie.
She recently announced the launch of a domestic six-team Women’s Cricket Super League in 2016.Balding has said in Parliament that women having freedom to play sport leads directly to women having political freedom; her BT Sport chat show is famous for its representation of female athletes alongside their male counterparts on the sofa.4Steph Houghton Captain of England and Manchester City FCHoughton led England to third place at the Women’s World Cup last month – the best performance in their history – and became a national hero in the process.She first came to national attention in 2012 when she scored three goals in four games for Great Britain at the London Olympics.Her first political statement, it was hugely brave and proved a turning point in the controversy.6Clare Connor Director of Women’s Cricket at the ECBMs Connor finished her six-year reign as England captain in 2005 by leading her team to the first Ashes victory in 42 years.She became head of England cricket in 2008, and is probably the most talented, driven, sensible, strategic, upbeat, no-nonsense sports administrator around.