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International Women's Day 2023

Welsh Athletics logo on a red background.

08/03/2023 00:00, In Blog /

This International Women’s Day we would like to celebrate all the wonderful and inspirational women that help make a difference in our sport.

There are simply too many women within our sport to mention them all, from athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials thank you for your contributions.

Melissa Courtney-Bryant

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Melissa Courtney-Bryant claimed a bronze medal in the women's 1500m and a new personal best of 4:03.44. Three years later Melissa suffered a foot injury that saw her ruled out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, since then she has been on an inspiring comeback journey. Earlier this year Melissa claimed the women's 3000m British Indoors title, and last weekend picked up Britiain's first medal of the European Indoor Championships with a bronze in the women's 3000m.


Jacqueline Brace

Jacqueline Brace has worked for Welsh Athletics for over 20 years, and is a coach, official and former athlete and is responsible for the registration of all club runners, club affiliation, transfers and eligibility. Jacqueline represented Wales for the first time in 1972 at the age of 13, after completing her career became a Level 3 Endurace coach and Welsh Team Manager.


Sue Maughan

Sue Maughan is one of the highest ranked officials in World Athletics, she began her officiating journey at university, following in her parents' footsteps. Sue has officiated at all levels of the sport, including an home Olympics Games and World Championships. And was recently invited to sit the World Athletics exam to become an international referee and the World Para exam, in which she passed both.


Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is regarded as Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian, with an overall medal tally of 11 gold, four silvers and one bronze medal. During her career Tanni broke 30 world records and was inducted into the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.


Helen James

A successful sprinter and previous Welsh Record holder, Helen James now coaches the next generation of athletes. Until recently, coached Jeremiah Azu, the current British 100m Champion and the first Welsh man to run sub-10 ever. Helen was recognised for her contributions to athletics in Wales during the 2022 Welsh Athletics Annual Awards, picking up the Performance Coach of the Year.


Ruth Swinhoe

Ruth Swinhoe was the first Welsh track and field athlete to win a medal at a major games, winning long jump bronze at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games in 1974 and held Welsh Records across four different events; long jump, high jump, pentathlon and heptathlon. Ruth won the first heptathlon event to be hosted in 1978 and was inducted into the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. 


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