Nicola Adams and Clare Balding in top 10 most influential women in sport

New research focused on the most influential Brits when it comes to encouraging people into sport


A study published today reveals both Nicola Adams and Clare Balding are in the top 10 most influential women in UK sport.


The research, conducted by the creative communications agency Exposure, focused on the most influential Brits when it comes to encouraging people to attend, play, watch or engage with sport in the UK.


Adams was ranked as 44th on the list, with Balding hot on her heels at number 51. Ex-Welsh rugby international player and presenter, Gareth Thomas, and Olympic diver, Tom Daley, were 5th and 6th respectively. Thomas and Daley’s positions contribute to a 20% LGBT presence in the top ten alone.


There are also signs that women’s sport is becoming more influential in the UK. While only 15% of the top 20 is comprised of women, it might initially appear to reflect traditional gender imbalances in sport. Women represent 20% of the top 10, and 250 most influential people in sport, however. When this is considered in the context of the scale and popularity of men’s sport and how established this is, this figure indicates that the influence of women upon UK sport is growing.


The inclusion of outspoken LGBT sports personalities suggests a positive change in UK sports towards LGBT acceptance.


The top ten most influential women in UK sports are as follows:


1.     Dame Jessica Ennis, Athletics commentator

2.     Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair, UK Sport

3.     Baroness Grey-Thompson, Member of the House of Lords, Politics

4.     Steph Houghton, Football 

5.     Charlotte Dujardin, Dressage         

6.     Nicola Adams, Boxing 

7.     Clare Balding, Channel 4 Sports Presenter

8.     Jazmin Carlin, Swimming  

9.     Eleanor Robinson, Swimming

10.   Liz Nicholl, Head of UK Sport



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