Trio nominated for Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year awards

18 Oct 2021

Maisie Summers-Newton, Bethany Firth and Alice Dearing have been shortlisted for prizes in The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards after a memorable 2021 for the trio. 

The prestigious annual awards celebrate the outstanding contribution made by elite athletes, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational female figures in the sporting year - and several British Swimming stars have again been recognised this time around.

Northampton Swimming Club's Summers-Newton is up for the Young Sportswoman of the Year award, following a stunning debut Paralympic Games that saw her claim two gold medals in the Women's SM6 200m Individual Medley and SB6 100m Breaststroke. She also broke the world record on her way to the Paralympic title in the former, having seen her old world best time beaten in the heats. 

Aged only 19, Maisie more than delivered on the promise that saw her claim a medal of each colour at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in London. She will be up against cyclist Zoe Backstedt, skateboarder Sky Brown, cricketer Alice Capsey, middle distance runner Keely Hodgkinson and BMX athlete Bethany Shriever for the Young Sportswoman prize. 

In the Disability Sportswoman of the Year category, an awesome display from Firth at her third Paralympic Games sees her make the shortlist. The Ards SC competitor won a third successive title in the Women's S14 100m Backstroke, as well as playing a key role in the Mixed S14 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet that broke the world record in the process of securing a brilliant gold. 

Bethany Firth GOLD Jessica-Jane Applegate BRONZE S14 100m Back Tokyo 2020 [Paralympics GB]
Bethany (centre) won two Paralympic golds in Tokyo

Silvers in the S14 200m Freestyle and SM14 200m Individual Medley events ensured Bethany took to the Tokyo podium on four occasions - and it maintained her eye-catching record of winning a medal from every Paralympic and World Championship final she has ever contested. 

Wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, athletics and cycling Paralympian Kadeena Cox, archer Phoebe Paterson Pine and GB para-canoeing trio Emma Wiggs, Charlotte Henshaw and Laura Sugar complete the shortlist. 

Dearing, meanwhile, has been nominated for the new Changemaker award, which has been introduced to recognise inspirational women working to create positive change in sport.

Marathon swimmer Alice has certainly been doing that. Alongside qualifying for her debut Olympic Games and becoming the first Black woman to swim for Team GB at an Olympics, she has continued her work with the Black Swimming Association, aiming to increase diversity and inclusivity in aquatics as a co-founder of the organisation. She has used her platform to be an outstanding spokesperson for aquatics, sport and the importance of diversity and inclusivity - and she also showed that through her involvement in the Women's Sport Trust 'Unlocked' campaign throughout 2020 and into 2021.

Alice is joined on the shortlist by Sue Anstiss - the author of 'Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women's Sport' - Emma Ross and Anita White.  

To vote for Alice and to check out the full shortlists for every award, visit the SWOTY website HERE. Maisie and Bethany's awards will be decided a judging panel that includes Rebecca Adlington and Ellie Simmonds.