Emma Raducanu, Lauren James: Stars recognised at BT Sport Action Woman Awards

Emma Raducanu was named BT Sport Action Woman of the Year during an awards ceremony in London last night

Emma Raducanu was named BT Sport Action Woman of the Year during an awards ceremony in London last night.

The 19-year-old tennis star earned the accolade after a sensational 2021, which saw her become the first ever qualifier, male or female, to win a Grand Slam title.

She triumphed at the US Open in September without dropping a set throughout the tournament, having reached the fourth round of Wimbledon as a wildcard just months before.

Raducanu started the year outside the top 300 in the WTA rankings, but now sits at world number 19.

She was unable to attend last night’s ceremony, but was presented the award by hockey legend Kate Richardson-Walsh.

Raducanu fought off competition from five other inspiring nominees, including cyclist Laura, jockey Rachael Blackmore, and Para-cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

Weightlifter Emily Campbell and Para-athlete Kadeena Cox were also on the shortlist.

Footballer Lauren James won the Rising Star award after making history as Manchester United’s first-ever goal-scorer in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

She finished as the Red Devil’s top scorer in the 2019/20 season with six goals in 12 appearances, and has since earned a move to WSL heavyweights Chelsea.

Chelsea player Lauren James won the BT Sport Rising Star Award

Both the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year and Rising Star accolades were decided by public vote.

Her new side was also among the award winners. Chelsea were named Team of the Year after an impressive 12 months, which saw the Blues secure back-to-back WSL titles and win the FA Cup, Continental League Cup, and Community Shield.

Chelsea also reached the Women’s Champions League Final for the first time, although they lost heavily to Barcelona on the day.

Paula Dunn MBE received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her pioneering contribution to UK Paralympics.

The BT Sport Action Woman Awards took place last night

The former Olympic sprinter was appointed the first female head coach at British Athletics after London 2012, and she has since overseen one of the most successful periods in history for Para-athletics in Britain.

BT Sport presenter Clare Balding hosted last night’s event in front of a star-studded audience, who were all on hand to celebrate this year’s standout performances by British and Irish female athletes.

Balding said: “2021 has been another great year for women’s sport, for both teams and individuals.

“Those nominated tonight, as well as thousands of others across the UK and Ireland, embody the talent, determination and resilience that is helping sport grow year on year.

“This is why BT Sport is incredibly proud to celebrate the success of these phenomenal athletes with the Action Woman Awards, and hopefully play our part in inspiring the next generation of superstars.”

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