Loughborough-linked sports women named in BBC Woman’s Hour Power List 2023

Alice Dearing in a Team GB top standing at a pool

Loughborough University graduate Alice Dearing

Four female sporting powerhouses with links to Loughborough University have been named in BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Power List 2023: Women in Sport.

The list, selected by an expert judging panel, includes Loughborough alumnae Alice Dearing, Sue Anstiss MBE, and Barbara Slater OBE, alongside Honorary Graduate and former staff member, Baroness Sue Campbell DBE. 

The 30 outstanding women selected have all been recognised after making game-changing contributions to women’s sport. 

Alice Dearing (BA Politics 2019, MA Social Media and Political Communication 2021) became the first black woman to swim for Great Britain at an Olympics when she competed at the Tokyo Games in 2021. Using her profile to action change, she is also one of the four co-founders of the Black Swimming Association, a non-profit organisation aimed at championing diversity in swimming from grassroots to the elite level. 

Sue Anstiss MBE (BA English and Physical Education and Sports Science 1988) was selected in recognition of her outstanding contribution to grassroots and women’s sport. She is a passionate activist for equality in women’s sport and hosts the popular The Game Changers podcast, which celebrates and amplifies the stories of trailblazing women in sport. Sue was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University's School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in 2022 in recognition of her achievements.

Barbara Slater OBE (PGCE Certificate of Education 1982) was appointed the first female Director of BBC Sport in 2009 and has grown the portfolio of negotiated rights deals for women’s sport across football, cricket, rugby, netball and beyond. 

Barbara has also been a champion of female broadcasters, pundits and commentators. In 2021, she became the first woman to receive the IBC International Honour for Excellence in recognition of her career in sports broadcasting and for "leading the way in establishing women’s sport and bringing women to the fore in sports".  

Baroness Sue Campbell DBE has held roles with organisations such as UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust. During her time with UK Sport, she presided over Team GB and ParalympicGB's performance at London 2012. In March 2016, she was appointed Head of Women's Football with the Football Association and was appointed to her current role as Director of Women's Football in January 2018. 

Her time at The FA has been spent championing equality, diversity and access for the women’s game. During her tenure, the number of women and girls playing football has doubled. As well as being an honorary graduate of the University, Baroness Campbell is also a member of the Loughborough Sport Hall of Fame. 

The judges included broadcaster Jessica Creighton, World Cup-winning cricketer and broadcaster Ebony Rainford-Brent, Olympic gold-medallist and broadcaster Sam Quek, and record-breaking Paralympian, alumna Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.