2018 celebrates the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. To acknowledge, and commemorate, how far we have come, and the athletes who have made a difference, the NZ Herald put together a list of women in Kiwi sports who have made waves, or a difference, in one way or another. Getting this list to just 50 seemed to be a challenge because there are so many strong women, who have made a difference in the world of sport.
There was a panel of selectors to narrow the list down to just 50 women; they laid out a handful of parameters and criteria, with some flexibility to accommodate the fact that one checklist would not capture all of the candidates. Skill, sport and age, were all taken into consideration, as well as qualities such as leadership, that was evident away from the sporting field.
The women that were selected come from 31 different sports, making it a diverse and inclusive list, that well represents the culture of New Zealand sport, and in the country as a whole. These sports include everything from sailing to BMX riding, as well as more mainstream sports such as football and swimming. There are two tennis players, one of which is Judy Chaloner who, to this day, is the country’s only Grand Slam title recipient.
There was a democratic process used to ensure all voices were heard, and that each woman was judged and ranked fairly, and in a way that made sense, and represented the panel, and the country, as a whole. Each woman on the list has brought something unique and compelling to their sport, and to women in competition as a concept. These women are role models for young athletes and young people in general. For the complete list, visit the Herald’s sports section.