Investec has launched the inaugural Investec 20×20 Media Awards, to recognise and reward excellence in Irish journalism focused on Women in Sport. How could we not like the sound of that?
Investec is one of the five commercial partners of 20×20, the initiative presented by The Federation of Irish Sport which calls on the people of Ireland to provide more support for women in sport.
In demonstrating its commitment to the initiative, Investec has created this new awards scheme to help change the perceptions of women’s sport. The premise is that increased visibility will lead to greater cultural recognition of girls and women in sport.
Broadcast, print and online journalists are being invited to submit entries of their best work highlighting Women in Sport via an online portal at www.investec.ie/20×20 from February to November, with a winner announced each month.
Entries to the awards can be submitted by nominees themselves or on behalf of journalists by editors or peers across the media spectrum.
Investec has pulled together an expert panel of judges which will be chaired by Anna Kessel of the Guardian, who last appeared in Dublin last March at an event we were involved in with Liberty Insurance ahead of International Women’s day.
A brilliant writer and a great advocate of Women’s sport. She will be joined on the panel by Mary O’Connor, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport; Michael Cullen, CEO, Investec; Sarah Colgan, CEO, Along Came A Spider and 20×20 co-founder and Gordon D’Arcy, former Irish International Rugby Player.
Each monthly winner will receive a prize of €1,000 and there will be an overall annuall winner who will be announced in December.
“In celebrating women’s sports journalism the Investec 20×20 Media Awards are sending out a very powerful message: women’s sport is amazing, and of value,” said Kessell.
“For every sports editor who’s ever wondered if it’s worth covering; to every coach who questioned whether girls needed encouraging, and to every sports’ governing body deliberating over how much to invest in their female athletes this year, this initiative makes it clear: women’s sport matters. For that very reason, it is an absolute honour to be part of these ground-breaking awards.”
20×20 commissioned Nielsen Sports to monitor media coverage of sport in the period before the campaign launched. This found that just 3% of print and 4% of online sports coverage was dedicated to women’s sport in Ireland.
Based on Nielsen Sports research, 20×20 has estimated television coverage of women’s sport is less than 12%.
The 20×20 Nielsen Sports research was also launched today It found that 59% of Irish people believe that the media should do more to promote female sport, with 57% wanting to see equality in female and male sporting role models in media.
The research also found that 63% of people would like to see Ireland’s sportswomen become national heroes in the same way as our sportsmen.
“The Awards are all about championing women in sport and calling on all media to use their skills, bravery and diligence to support women in sport,” said Michael Cullen, CEO of Investec.
“In working to increase media coverage for women’s sport by 20% it is fitting that as an official sponsor of 20×20, we recognise and reward media for promoting women in sport – ‘If She Can’t See It, She Can’t Be It’.”
“Investec wants to help change perceptions of women in sport by celebrating and recognising outstanding contributions to journalism in Ireland, and celebrate the contribution of journalists from across the media spectrum – the professionals who act as an independent voice – who challenge pre-conceptions, ask hard questions and push for answers.”
“The 20×20 campaign is starting to gain real momentum since the initiative launched in October 2018,” said Sarah Colgan, CEO of Along Came a Spider and co-founder of 20X20.
“Media companies have organically picked up on this very important national topic and have taken positive steps towards delivering on one of the key objectives of 20×20, which is to increase the level of coverage of women’s sport across media by 20% by the end of 2020. The Investec 20×20 Media Awards will help us get there.”
“I have no doubt that the Awards will not only encourage more coverage of our female athletes, coaches and teams but also showcase some of the inspiring female sporting role-model stories from around the nation,” concluded Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport.
Image Credit: Morgan Treacy, Inpho.ie