Charlotte Dujardin named Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year

Last Updated: 20/11/14 10:55am

Charlotte Dujardin has been named Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year
Charlotte Dujardin has been named Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year

Double Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin has been named Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year for 2014.

Dujardin continued her dominance of the sport over the last 12 months, winning gold medals in the special and freestyle events at the World Equestrian Games in France as well as a silver in the team event.

The Gloucestershire-based rider now holds multiple titles at Olympic, European and World levels – all the achievements coming on her amazing Dutch-bred gelding Valegro.

Sunday Times and Sky Sportswomen of the Year Awards

  • Sportswoman of the Year: Charlotte Dujardin
  • Young Sportswoman of the Year: Claudia Fragapane
  • Team of the Year: England rugby union team
  • Disability Sportswoman of the Year: Stephanie Slater
  • Community Award: Sue Frett
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Louise Martin
  • Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration: Mel Woodards

Dujardin is the third horsewoman to take the main Sportswoman award, with eventers Pippa Funnell (2003) and Zara Phillips (2005) among the previous winners.

Lizzy Yarnold, who won gold for Britain in the skeleton event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, took second place with athlete Jo Pavey, who won the 10,000 metres at the European Championships in August at the age of 40 and took 5,000 metres bronze behind two Kenyan stars at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, placed third.

Dujardin, speaking from Melbourne, said: "I'm really privileged to be accepting this award and I am so sorry I can't be there.

"I have an incredible relationship with Valegro, I've been working with him for eight years and we know each other inside out. The only way I can describe him is as being my dance partner and he should be up there receiving that award with me, but he's at home in his stable.

"Hopefully we can get some more medals. I've got the World Cup finals coming up in Las Vegas next year and then it's on to Europeans and Olympics in Rio."

Emerging gymnastics superstar Claudia Fragapane was named Young Sportswoman of the Year after an incredibly successful 2014.

The 17-year-old, known as the 'Pocket Rocket', won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games only eight months after making her senior Great Britain debut.

Sportswomen awards: The winners
Sportswomen awards: The winners

Victory on the final day of competition in the women’s individual floor final meant Fragapane became the first English female to win four gold medals at a single Commonwealth tournament in 84 years.

“I’m just so overwhelmed by it all,” Fragapane said. “It’s been such an amazing year. To come out and go to Europeans, World and Commonwealths and have such great results was amazing.”

Team of the Year went to England’s rugby union team, who ended a run of three successive final defeats to win the World Cup in August.

They came out top of a public vote in the category, beating off competition from England’s cricketers, the 4x100 metres athletics relay squad and rowers Helen Glovers and Heather Standing.

England rugby union team: Named team of the year

Swimming star Stephanie Slater was crowned Disability Sportswoman of the Year.

Slater was the star of the IPC European swimming championships, winning an incredible seven gold medals over the course of seven days in Eindhoven – five of the events individual.

The Community Award went to Sue Frett, founder of the Surrey branch of the Special Olympics Great Britain, an organisation that provides sports training and competition in a variety of sports for people with learning disabilities.

The 75-year-old from Epsom has helped children with learning disabilities for more than 50 years – ever since her own son, Jonathan, first attended the St. Philips School for children with intellectual challenges in Chessington.

Claudia Fragapane: Young Sportswoman of the Year

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Louise Martin, vice-chair of the organising committee for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Martin, a former international swimmer, has a long relationship with the event as competitor, team manager and administrator and played a huge part in the success of the summer spectacular, hailed as the ‘best ever’ by Games Federation president Prince Imran.

And the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration went to Mel Woodards, chairman of the Milton Nomads junior football club in Somerset.

Woodards, from Weston-super-Mare, has used volunteering as a way for her and her two children (a son aged 13 and a daughter aged seven) to overcome domestic violence, helping to set up a local league that allows 900 children to take part in the sport in her community.

She said: “I don’t believe I would have coped over the last seven years with my personal difficulties and traumas without my voluntary work in junior football. It has been a positive distraction and provided an awesome support network for me and my kids.”