Eyes on the prize

Vicky Gomersall talks to Sally Gunnell about the tough task of picking a winner of the Sportswoman of the Year award

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Last Updated: 05/12/13 12:43pm

Sally Gunnell discusses her career in athletics and her experience of being trained by a male coach.

On this week's Sportswomen, Sally Gunnell joined me to look ahead to the Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards.

Sally's been really impressed with the achievements of plenty of our sportswomen this year and felt it was an almost impossible task to find a winner for the main award.

The former Olympic 400m hurdles gold medallist is thrilled Christine Ohuruogu is in contention as she felt winning her second world title this year - and beating Kathy Smallwood-Cook's record which had stood since 1984 in the process - was enough to put her in the frame for the star prize.

Sally Gunnell discusses her career in athletics and her experience of being trained by a male coach.

Sally also told us about her new role on the board of Sport England and how she hopes it will keep the focus on grass roots to really help the great sportsmen and sportswomen of the future. She'll be looking into facilities and projects and also the nutritional and psychological side of sport to help youngsters make the most of their talents.

Sportswomen also carried out some research this week - finding out that only 17 per cent of all coaches in the top ten participation sports are women.

This figure didn't shock Sally - she could only remember one female coach throughout her time as an athlete but she felt this figure does need to rise in the coming years, in particular to help the younger girls.

Sally Gunnell says she is enormously impressed with the current state of women's sport ahead of the Sportswomen awards.

Sally felt its a case of building confidence in the women keen to get into coaching and making sure they aren't put off by such a male-dominated environment. However Sally was keen to point out her husband Jonathan Bigg is also a coach and she knows from experience it is a massive commitment - he coaches practically ever evening and for some women this just might not be possible.

Sally's hopeful that in a few years' time we could be looking at a much higher percentage of female coaches within all sports.

Finally, good luck to all the nominees for the awards this week. I feel women's sport right now is going from strength to strength.

Watch the Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards live tonight on Sky Sports. You can also follow the awards via our live blog on our website and iPhone app.