Inspirational Sarah is named in poll

Sarah Stevenson, pictured after winning the World Championship gold medal in North Korea, 10 years after her first world title.
Sarah Stevenson, pictured after winning the World Championship gold medal in North Korea, 10 years after her first world title.

Tae kwon do champion Sarah Stevenson has been named as the fourth most inspirational woman in sport.

Zest magazine has named the Doncaster based world beater in the 2012 poll for battling her way to her third world title, while simultaneously nursing both her parents through terminal cancer.

Sarah, 28, from Bentley, who is under a gruelling Olympic training session, managed to win the world title last year, even though her father Roy died from a brain tumour in July and her mother Diane lost her battle with cancer three months later.

Earlier this year, the medal hopeful was awarded an MBE by the Queen for her services to martial arts.

After winning Britain’s first ever tae kwon do Olympic medal by claiming bronze in Beijing in 2008, Sarah agonised about competing in the World Championships after taking time out to care for her parents but went on to win in the 67kg category in South Korea and dedicated her success to her family.

Team GM sitting volleyball player Martine Wright, was named the most inspirational woman in sport.

Mandie Gower, editor of Zest, said: “As London 2012 approaches, the buzz around our female sports stars has reached fever pitch.

“However, the truly inspirational women in sport aren’t all potential medal winners.

“We therefore wanted to highlight and honour those women, from trail-blazing coaches to presenters and MPs as well as our sports stars, who have contributed to making this year the biggest and most successful British sport has ever seen.”

The ‘Inspirational women in sport’ in 2012 list appears in the June issue of Zest, out now. The full 2012 list is:

1. Martine Wright, sitting volleyball player

2. Helen Skelton, TV presenter

3. Jessica Ennis, heptathlete

4. Sarah Stevenson, world tae kwon do champion

5. Gabby Logan, sports broadcaster

6. Anne Dunham, dressage rider

7. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, campaigner

8. Paula Radcliffe, marathon runner

9. Tessa Jowell, MP

10. Rebecca Romero, athlete

11. Charlotte Edwards, England cricket captain

12. Julia Immonen, charity rower and record breaker

13. Clare Balding, BBC sports presenter

14. Hope Powell, GB football coach

15. Shelley Rudman, skeleton bobsleigh rider

16. Sue Tibballs, chief executive, Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation

17. Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic champion

18. Barbara Slater, BBC director of sport

19. Ellen White, footballer

20. Chemmy Alcott, alpine skier

In a fantastic double, Sarah was named Doncaster’s Sports Personality of the Year - see back page.