Dear Lord Patten,
I am writing to you with regards to the recent announcement of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, which was published yesterday.
I was surprised to see there were no female athletes included on the shortlist, especially considering the plethora of successful female sports personalities which have achieved so much in 2011. As a fellow of the British Triathlon Federation and a keen amateur triathlete I feel there have been several figures from the world of triathlon which have been overlooked in the selection process. Female personalities such as Olympic triathlon world champion Helen Jenkins and Chrissie Wellington – four time Ironman world champion, were not even mentioned in the preliminary rounds let alone included in the final shortlist.
It is disappointing to see a lack of women included in the Sports Personality of the Year, especially following the number of female British sporting successes in 2011. I would be interested to speak with you regarding this issue and to discuss the possibility of increased transparency in future selection processes.
I feel gender equality is an important issue in sports and it should be a duty to provide a balanced representation for both men and women in the world of professional sports.
I will be sending a copy of this letter to Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, as well as making a copy of this letter public.
BRANDON LEWIS M.P.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR GREAT YARMOUTH
CC. Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and Olympics.