Tessa Sanderson CBE joins Women in Sport as Ambassador in its 40th Anniversary Year


Women in Sport is thrilled to announce the appointment of Olympic champion Tessa Sanderson CBE as an Ambassador, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of both Tessa’s historic gold medal win and the founding of the charity in 1984.

As a trailblazer in the world of athletics, Tessa has long been an inspirational figure, breaking barriers and championing the cause of women’s participation in sport. Forty years ago, at the Los Angeles Games Tessa won gold in the javelin and became the first Black British woman to win an Olympic gold medal. To this day no other British athlete, male or female, has won Olympic gold in a standalone throwing event.

Tessa’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for Women in Sport as the charity celebrates four decades of challenging gender inequality in sport and society. Sport England data shows that girls remain less active than boys even in 2024, and Black girls are particularly at risk from exclusion from sport with only 35% meeting activity guidelines. Both Tessa and Women in Sport are determined to change this pattern, crush the stereotypes and free girls from all backgrounds up to experience the joy of sport.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of my Olympic gold medal win and the founding of Women in Sport, I am deeply committed to advancing our shared mission of empowering women and girls through sport.
Tessa Sanderson CBE

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, CEO of Women in Sport said: “I remember Tessa winning her gold medal and the excitement in our house when she did so. I have since learnt of Tessa’s remarkable journey in life and sport and the barriers and prejudice she’s has had to overcome.  No-one should have to face these inequalities and we are pleased to be locking arms with Tessa in the fight to make sure girls from all backgrounds have a chance to shine in sport and benefit from its life skills.

“Tessa’s unparalleled achievements, tireless advocacy, and unwavering dedication to the advancement of women in sport embodies the values that have defined Women in Sport throughout its history, making Tessa a perfect Ambassador for us in our 40th year.”

In her role as Ambassador, Tessa will lend her expertise, passion, and influence to amplify Women in Sport’s initiatives, drive positive change, and inspire women and girls to pursue their sporting dreams fearlessly, whether that is playing for a local team or participating at the Olympic Games.

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