In Brief

Should there be separate Sports Personality of the Year awards for men and women?

There hasn’t been a female winner since Zara Tindall in 2006

Since its creation in 1954, just 13 women have won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award - and none since British equestrian Zara Tindall in 2006. 

The Olympic silver medallist, who is the eldest granddaughter of the Queen, won the eventing world championship in the same year as her SPOTY success. She followed in the footsteps of her mother, Princess Anne, who also won the coveted silver trophy in 1971. 

With no female winners for 14 years, the longest time a woman has not won since the show began, should the format now change? 

British tennis coach Judy Murray told The Mail on Sunday she “would like the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year to be broken down into male and female categories, in order to create a more even playing field”. 

Her son Andy, the former world No.1 tennis player, is the only person to have won the award three times - the same number the prize has been handed to women in the last 20 years, the Daily Mail reports. 

“If you can see it, you can be it,” Judy Murray said. “Role models are hugely important in inspiring the next generation; look at the surge of interest in women’s football that has come with the success of the Lionesses [England’s women’s team].

“Andy in particular has always been good at speaking out for women. He was also the first top male [tennis] player to take on a female coach and he speaks up consistently about equality, which has a really big impact, ironically because he's a man. 

“This isn’t just about women; the importance of male advocacy to effect change is huge.”

Ladies European Tour professional golfer Liz Young agrees with Murray. She told The Telegraph: “Unfortunately, if a woman wants to win BBC Sports Personality of the year, they will want to create their own prize. I can’t see how a woman is going to win Sports Personality of the Year.”

England cricket star Ben Stokes won the award last year. And according to Oddschecker the favourites for 2020 are F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. 

This year’s Sports Personality of the Year show will take place on 20 December and is live on BBC One.

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