It is beyond belief that we have no women and no triathletes shortlisted as finalists for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
With triathletes like world champion, Helen Jenkins and Chrissie Wellington who has just won her 4th World IronMan title, how can this be? I have written to the BBC today demanding an explanation. This afternnon the BBC seems to have acknowledged the issue and plans to rectify it next year with a change the system of shortlisting.
See below for the text of my press release issued this morning:
Brandon Lewis MP has today slammed the BBC Sports Personality of Year award as it has not included any women within its shortlist. Brandon was amazed and appalled to see that so many famous and success female sporting stars were excluded.
Brandon has written to the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chris Patten, and Hugh Robertson the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, asking them investigate how such a situation could have occurred and to ensure that in the future a transparent system is established so that the process of selecting a short list is clear and accountable.
Brandon in his letter highlighted specifically the case of Triathlon, a sport Brandon is very familiar with as he is currently undertaking a fellowship with British Triathlon Association. He feels that in particular several figures from the world of triathlon have been excluded; including, Olympic Tri-athlete and world champion Helen Jenkins and Chrissie Wellington four time Iron Man World Champion, and hugely successful tri-athlete
Brandon Lewis MP explained “I was very disappointed to see no women have been shortlisted for this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Competition, especially when you consider how many British female sporting successes we have had this year. In Triathlon alone we have several strong contenders for consideration, including Helen Jenkins, who is tipped to take the Gold in London, and Chrissie Wellington, a real Iron Lady.
What is needed is a reform of the system to ensure that the short list is conducted in a transparent manner, not by a small clique of sports journalists.”