Kellie Harrington celebrates with her gold medal during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

2021 has been 'amazing' year for women's sport

2021 will rightly remembered as the year of women in sport in Ireland!

A new survey found that Ireland’s three most admired sports stars are boxers Katie Taylor, Kellie Harrington, both at 16 per cent, and jockey Rachael Blackmore at nine per cent. Taylor defended her unified world lightweight titles while Kellie Harrington emulated her by winning an Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

Blackmore won the Aintree Grand National and took the Champion Jockey prize at the Cheltenham festival. Ireland rugby captain Jonathan Sexton came joint third in the poll on nine per cent alongside Blackmore, with Olympic gold medal rower Paul O’Donovan, Paralympian Ellen Keane, rugby player Tadhg Furlong and Ireland soccer captain Katie McCabe sharing fifth spot on four per cent.

The results were part of the Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index (TSSI) 2021 which was released this week.

The TSSI is a comprehensive 1,000 person nationally representative survey with quotas imposed across gender, region, age and social class.

This is the view of the general public and not a survey of sports fans. It is the twelfth year of the TSSI and. Research was carried out between 25 November and 9 December.

Meanwhile, Team Ireland took home two gold medals and four bronze from the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, more than enough to see them voted Team of the Year.

Medals in rowing and boxing were celebrated around the country, including Cork, and helped Team Ireland earn nearly a quarter of the vote.

Kelli O’Keefe, Managing Director, Teneo Ireland said: “We’re nearing the end of an amazing 12 months for Irish women’s sport in particular and I think in years to come we will look back on 2021 as the year women’s sport in Ireland finally made the big breakthrough after so long knocking on the door.”