#SJA2022: Inspirational administrator Campbell receives standing ovation at British Sports Awards


Baroness Sue Campbell praised those around her as she picked up the SJA’s Spirit of Sport Award at the 2022 British Sports Awards.

The award recognises those who inspire others by being role models, with Baroness Campbell having overseen a seismic change in the women’s football landscape as Director of Women’s Football at the FA.

This was capped off with a European Championship victory for England’s Lionesses in the summer, in front of a full crowd at Wembley Stadium.

Baroness Campbell said: “I don’t get many of these so it does feel special. 

“But I am just part of a massive team of people that make these things happen so I’m not taking an award just for me, I’m taking it for the team that works so hard at the FA to make everything possible.”

It’s been a big year for women’s football in England, even excluding the Euros victory, with a new rights deal for the Women’s Super League expected to further elevate the game.

But Baroness Campbell’s highlight of the year was not a surprise.

She said: “Well we’ve been lucky, we’ve had so much for women’s sport, I think we’ve had a really exceptional year.

“But my highlight of course has to be the Euros.

“It reminded me so much of the brilliant days of London 2012. The fans, the wonderful, wonderful fans, the happiness and the joy it brought to people who came to games.

“I think it was a very special moment, not just in our sporting history but in our history.”

Even before the achievements of the summer, Sport England reported that the number of women playing football since 2017, just before Baroness Campbell assumed her current role, has increased by 100,000.

She said: “We’ve been working very hard to use football as a power for good, and I truly believe that if I can change the mindset of people around football, then maybe I can change mindsets around women’s opportunities in society on the whole.

“You can’t click your fingers and make it happen overnight, but we’re making really big strides.”

Matthew Cox is a member of the SJA Academy – open to aspiring sports journalists from across the UK. Free to join, find out more here.