BBC News is announcing the return of the Indian Sportswoman of the Year award after the resounding success of BBC ISWOTY 2019. This year’s winner will be voted for by fans from a shortlist compiled by a jury of eminent sports journalists, experts, and BBC editors. The five shortlisted nominees will be announced on 8th February 2021.
The winner of the BBC ISWOTY award will be announced on 8th March, after having been selected online by a global audience voting on BBC Indian Language service platforms and the BBC Sport website.
This year’s BBC ISWOTY will also feature a “Sports Hackathon” where multilingual journalism students from across India will collectively create new Wikipedia entries on Indian sportswomen and improve upon pre-existing ones across seven languages – English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu. This will be a significant addition to Wikipedia, enhancing the presence and representation of Indian sportswomen online. More details will be made available on 8th February.
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General said: “I am delighted that the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award is returning for a second time. It is a brilliant opportunity to celebrate female athletes from across the country, and I’m pleased the BBC is leading the way in recognising their successes.”
Rupa Jha, Head of BBC Indian Language services said: ‘‘This coveted award aims to highlight the ‘Change Makers’ and honour the finest sportswomen who have continued to influence their sport and change the game during these tumultuous times, with the world affected by the pandemic. I look forward to seeing another year of fantastic participation from our growing audiences voting for their favourite sportswoman of the year.”
Once the BBC ISWOTY jury’s nominations are announced and online voting opens for fans from 8th February, the BBC will produce video features and reports documenting the journey of the five nominees, as well as a series of Sports Changemakers, their hurdles and successes.
The BBC will also be honouring a legendary sports personality who has made an exceptional contribution to the field of Indian sports with the Lifetime Achievement award, as well as an emerging sports player with the Emerging Player award.
Last year, Indian badminton player PV Sindhu won the inaugural BBC ISWOTY award, and former sprinter PT Usha was given the Lifetime Achievement award for her contribution to Indian sports and inspiring generations of players.