Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The 2010s will possibly be remembered as the decade when the glass ceiling started to crack in women’s sport. We aren’t there just yet in terms of recognition and the sharing of the spoils, but women have been given bigger and better platforms on which to shine, and many have grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

In the UK, we have seen some incredible success by individual female stars and teams. In fact, it is difficult to whittle down the candidates to five individuals; such has been the glut of successes by British women in the 2010s. Regardless, here are the five women we believe have been the stars of the decade:

Tammy Beaumont

Making her test debut in 2013, Beaumont has arguably become the face of English women’s cricket in a short space of time. Her crowning achievement was leading the England team to World Cup glory in 2017, with Beaumont scoring 410 runs and getting the nod for the Player of the Series. The England women’s team have secured qualification for the 2021 Cricket World Cup, but they will be up against it when facing tough teams like Australia and hosts New Zealand. However, with a class act like Beaumont in the team, anything is possible.

Jade Jones

Made an OBE in the latest New Year’s Honours list, Jade Jones is to British combat sports what Simone Biles is to American gymnastics. That is to say, the dominant force. Jones took home Olympic Gold for Taekwondo in 2012 and 2016, as well as dozens of other medals in various other tournaments. No British woman has ever won three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics. Jones will head off to Tokyo in the summer assured that she has a chance to make history. The smart money says she does it.

Steph Houghton

Liverpool leads the Premier League by 13 points as we head into the New Year. After checking the latest online football betting with 888 for the (men’s) Premier League, we found a price of 1/20 for Liverpool to be crowned champions and odds as high as 100/1 for second-place Leicester. In short, the title race is finished halfway through the season. So, where to look for a pulsating title race? Look no further than the Women’s Super League, where Arsenal and Manchester City are locked in a fascinating race for supremacy. The difference-make in the situation could be the brilliant Steph Houghton. We don’t have the column space to list all of Houghton’s honours, but she has arguably been the best English player of the 21st century.

Jessica Ennis-Hill

The history books will record the 2012 Heptathlon Olympic Gold as the greatest moment, but we argue it was the Silver in Rio that really showed Ennis-Hill’s class. Several injuries had blighted her in the run-up to the Rio Olympics, hampering her preparation. Still, eventual winner Nafissatou Thiam had to pull out personal bests in five of the seven events to beat Ennis-Hill. The gutsy performance saw nominated for a Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year.

Jessica Ennis-Hill following the Women's Heptathlon at the Olympic Stadium during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil / Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images
Jessica Ennis-Hill following the Women's Heptathlon at the Olympic Stadium during the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil / Photo Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

Bryony Frost

Horse racing is one of the few sports with which we get to see men and women compete against each other. However, it is also one where women are not getting the chances they deserve. Several female jockeys have been making some strides of late though, with Bryony Frost perhaps the most notable of all. As an amateur, she won the Foxhunters’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017, but it was the 2018/19 season when Frost truly began to shine. She became the first female winner of a Grade 1 race at Cheltenham in 2019, and she also won the 2018/19 Conditional Jockeys’ Title. In a sport where women aren’t given chances at the highest level, Frost is beating down the door as a trailblazer.

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