We asked double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes what she thought about the all-male Sports Personality of the Year shortlist. Here's what she had to say...
As huge supporters of female sport, here at Zest we were shocked to see an all-male BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, but heartened to see the huge response from high profile women in sport. Top of our list was Dame Kelly Holmes who immediately tweeted 'Ok @BBCSPOTY you know I am a massive fan being a past winner BUT you have got it wrong this year. where are the women??Come on guys its 2011'We put in a call to the double gold medal winning sporting legend herself to talk about the controversy and hear her opinions first hand. Here's what she had to say:'I'm hugely disappointed that there isn't a single woman on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist. There's been huge success in women's sport this year and these women haven't been recognised for their achievements. People are saying there are ten great guys on the list, yes there are but there are girls who have outperformed those guys - we've got world record holders and world champions - for not one of them to be on that shortlist is terrible.'Nurturing talent in young athletes is hugely important to me in my work with Aviva On Camp With Kelly, so to look at that list and see not a single woman represented makes my heart sink - where's the inspiration for up-and-coming girls in sport?'The media coverage of women's sport is shocking, as it has been for years. It's not a new problem but you'd think by now there would be a mix of journalists voting; you've got men's magazines, where were the women's magazines? That's not to say there should be ten women on the list - that wouldn't be right either but this list should be based on who is the best in their field - man or woman. A world champion is a world champion and that's bigger achievement than someone coming second or third.'Yes, the sports women have excelled in haven't all been high profile but that's down to media coverage - not the athletes being any less worthy of recognition. Chrissie Wellington has won her fourth World Ironman Triathlon championship and set two world records this year, we have two world swimming champions in Keri-Anne Payne and Rebecca Adlington, Sarah Stevenson is taekwondo world champion for the third time. People will always argue that they're not mainstream sports but taekwondo is in the Olympic Games, triathlon is in the Olympic Games. It's less than a year until the Olympics comes to London, and world champions aren't being recognised. They might not be high profile sports but that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be celebrated. They've really got it wrong this year.'If you agree, join us in celebrating all that's fantastic about female sport by checking out their incredible successes this year, voting for who you think should be on that shortlist in our online poll, or take to twitter (using hashtag #ZestSPOTY). Come on the girls!
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