Investec has been named as the headline sponsor of the inaugural Investec 20×20 Media Awards which have been set up to recognise and reward excellence in Irish journalism that is focused on women in sport.
Broadcast, print and online journalists are invited to ‘show their stripes’ and submit entries on Women in Sport via www.investec.ie/20X20 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.
A panel of judges will select one outstanding piece of journalism to award each month recognising and acknowledging that journalist’s contribution to women’s sport. The monthly winner will receive a prize of €1,000. An overall annual winner will be announced in December 2019.
Each entry will be examined by an independent panel of judges, comprising of sporting and business leaders. The 2019 judicial panel comprises: Anna Kessel (Chair); 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.
As part of the launch, Nielsen Sports was commissioned to to monitor media coverage of sport in the period before launch. The 20×20 Nielsen Sports Study found that just 3% of print and 4% of online 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 research also 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. In addition, 63% of people would like to see Ireland’s sportswomen become national heroes in the same way as our sportsmen.
Anna Kessel, Investec 20×20 Awards judging panel Chair, said: “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. 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.”