Remember the BBC Sports Personality Awards? The furore about the lack of sportswomen nominated? Sportswomen get little chance to promote themselves - girls get few opportunities to see sportswomen as role models. We're trying to fix that with our 'Heroines' section. When we produced the Women's Sporting Calendar 2012 we asked each of the 24 sports to nominate a sportswoman. Now we're looking for four 'stars', from each sport which we can feature, associate with events, follow progress, consolidate their blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages and really give these world class role models the exposure they deserve. You can follow their combined Twitter feeds on our home page or link up to them via their profile below.
Why not nominate a 'Heroine' for your sport? If we aren't yet covering four sportswomen in your sport please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and nominate your heroine - make sure you sign up to their Twitter feed.
Mouse over the heroine's picture to find out more about her
Achievements: Laura Thompson, from Towcester in Northamptonshire, is the longest-serving player on the Great Britain Women's Fastpitch Softball Team, having first been selected to the senior team in 2003 at the age of 17. Laura Thompson is a quick and aggressive outfielder who came up through the Great Britain youth system after moving to this country from Zambia at the age of 12. She was the first Great Britain junior player to play college softball in the United States in order to gain far more competition experience than players can get in this country. Laura played for two years at Vernon Regional Junior College in Texas, then moved on to Eastern New Mexico University, an NCAA Division 2 college, where she earned All-Conference honours in both seasons that she played there. In the summer of 2011, playing in the highly prestigious World Cup of Softball in the United States against the top four teams in the world, Laura made one of the most spectacular diving catches against Team Australia that many long-time observers of softball have ever seen.
Lesley was born in Edinburgh (a long time ago!) and when she was four, her parents emigrated to Canada, and a couple of years later, the family moved to California. She played some Little League softball in California. After returning to the UK in 1971, she didn't find any softball for over 20 years.
During school and Further Education, Lesley skied for the Scotland Junior Squad and played squash and badminton for her school. A few years later, volleyball was her main interest, and her team won several district titles. But several of her club-mates played also played softball, and in 1993 Lesley joined the Picts Softball Club. She also tried her hand at cricket, and went on to represent a Scottish women's team that won the Northumberland league from 1992-1995.
In 1997, Lesley, along with three other Edinburgh women players, was asked to join and train with the Great Britain Slowpitch Team and in 1998, Lesley was a member of the GB Squad that won the inaugural European Slowpitch Championship.
From 1999 to 2002, Lesley travelled extensively with The Clan Softball Team, including two trips to compete in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Edinburgh Softball League had morphed by 1999 from a Sport Management Company League to a self-managed Independent League, and Lesley undertook the joint organising role in the league from 2000 to the present date with her friend Liz Graham.
Edinburgh's famous Festiball tournament has been organised by Lesley and Liz since 2000 and has become one of the top co-ed softball tournaments in the UK.
In 1993, Lesley completed a British Softball Federation umpiring course and went onto complete her European qualification in 2004. She still umpires at tournaments around the country, and has been Assistant Umpire-in Chief for the British Association of Softball Umpires (BASU) since 2009.
In 2004, Lesley was voted onto the British Softball Federation's Executive Committee in the role of joint National Tournaments Officer with Liz Graham, and has remained on the Committee ever since. Lesley and Liz were joint recipients of the Glover Cup in 2007, an award made for long-standing and outstanding service to softball.
Achievements: As a player: Sara was born and grew up in London and showed an early propensity for art and sport, playing on the hockey, badminton and tennis teams at school. She still plays County League badminton. In 1988 she graduated from art college and now runs her own interior design business in London. Sara discovered slowpitch softball in 1996, aged 30, and began playing recreationally. In 1998, she was recruited by an A-grade team and played at that level until 2010, winning National Championships and a European Cup with a team called The Chromies and an MVP award at an Advertising World Series in the United States. She trialled for the GB Slowpitch Team in 2001 and was part of the gold medal-winning GB team at the Slowpitch Softball World Cup in 2002.
As a coach: Retiring as a player due to injury, Sara was looking for a new challenge and spotted a lack of quality coaching at the lower levels of softball. "I felt I could help identify and develop talent at an early stage," Sara said, "and encourage all players to make the most of their abilities. I feel especially strongly about supporting women in the sport, helping them to build their skills and confidence to maximise their enjoyment."
2003: Took on the role of fund-raiser for the GB Slowpitch Team.
2004: Created the annual London Coaching Clinic, which she still runs as one of the GB Team's biggest fund-raisers. Coached at clinics in Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.
2007: Gained Level 3 coaching qualification and began to assist at GB training sessions.
2009/2010: Ran slowpitch coaching clinics for the European Softball Federation in Malta, Belgium and Switzerland
2009: Appointed GB Slowpitch Team Manager and Development Squad Assistant Coach.
2010: Managed winning GB Slowpitch Team at European Championships in the Czech Republic and was appointed Joint Head Coach for the GB Development Team.
2011: Coached GB Development Team at tournaments in London and Edinburgh.
2011: Managed winning GB Slowpitch Team at European Championships in Bulgaria.
Achievements: Steph Jardine has been one of the best women slowpitch players in England since the early 1990s, a player who has maximised her skills through hard work and intelligence. But beyond her playing skills, Steph has always been the most vocal and visible of team leaders, an inspiration for her teams. She was at the heart of the Baker Tomkins team that won four national titles in the late 1990s and in the 2000 European Slowpitch Championships, she dominated the tournament, batting .688 (amazing for a female in slowpitch) and making the game-saving catch in the only game GB threatened to lose.
Steph has played for the GB Slowpitch Team in three different decades, one of only two players to do so, and has been equally effective as an outfielder, infielder and catcher. In her late 20s, Steph took up fastpitch, and against all odds became a regular starter and a fine defensive first base player on a steadily improving GB Women's Fastpitch Team until she left the programme in 2006.
Steph was also a founder of the Monkeys Fastpitch Softball Club, an off-shoot of Baker Tomkins, that started the fastpitch careers of a number of young players who are in GB youth or senior teams today.
Achievements: The most famous female cricketer in the world; Charlotte is the captain of the England team, with over 140 ODI matches played and an impressive average of 36.75, she was the key to 2009 World Cup victory and later Ashes victories. A previous ICC Womens player of the year.
Achievements: Isa made her international debut at 17 against India and holds career best bowling figures of 5/14 in ODIs. She has also successfully gained credit in the media industry with her IPL commentary.
Achievements: One of the finest wicket-keeping batsman in the world, Sarah was the youngest woman to score 1000 runs in ODIs.
Achievements: Tammy made her international debut in 2009 at just 19 years old and has since been part of England tours to West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand. She is currently still a student at Loughborough University where she is the MCCU Captain, leading her team to several BUCS victories.
Achievements: National champion 2009, 2008, 2007
Represented Britain at World Championships individually and in the team in 2011 (13th), 2010, 2009, 2007
European Championships 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007
Won the Birmingham Open 2011 and 2010
Slough Open 2011
Achievements: 5th Madrid Senior World Cup 2009
15th Orleans Grand Prix 2009
1st British Championships 2008
1st Welsh Open 2008
World Championships 2000-2008
European Championships 2000-2008
Commonwealth Fencing Championships (England Team) 2002
Achievements: Cadet World Championships 2004-2007
Junior World Championships 2006-2009
Cadet European Championships 2007
Junior European Championships 2006-2008
Commonwealth Fencing Championships (England Team) 2006
Junior Commonwealth Fencing Championships (England Team) 2006 and 2009.
Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2009
South West OCS Sports Person of the year 2007.
Achievements: Competing for Great Britain internationally and has a bronze medal from Stockholm FIE Satellite in the 2011/2012 season.
Achievements: Alex started her career at Arsenal winning the FA Cup, League Cup and Women's Premier League several times each. She won the UEFA cup with Arsenal in 2007. In 2009 she moved to Boston Breakers to play in the WPS. Alex has represented England in two european championships and two World Cups.
Achievements: She started her career at Birmingham City and played for Charlton Athletic and Chelsea before playing in the WPS in America. She won the FA Cup in 2005 and was named FA Women's Young Player of the Year in 2003.
Achievements: Fara has won over 100 caps and scored 36 goals for England. Through her career she has won one FA Cup and 3 League Cups. Early in her career Fara won FA Young Player of the Year Award. During the 06-07 season and 08-09 season she won FA international Player of the Year and was voted FA Players' Player of the Year in 08-09.
Achievements: Arsenal and England captain, Faye has won the FA Women's premier league ten times and won the newly created Women's Super League in it's first year. She has won the FA Cup 9 times, the League Cup 6 times and the UEFA Cup once. In the 97-98 season Faye won was the Women's Premier League Player of the Year.
Achievements: 2011 GOLD European Championships, 2010 GOLD World Championships, 2x GOLD European Championships, 1x SILVER European Championships, 2009 GOLD World Championships, 2x GOLD European Championships, 2008 4th Olympic Games, SILVER European Championships, 2007 SILVER European Championships, 2006 GOLD World Championships, GOLD European Championships, 2005 BRONZE World Championships, 2004 10th Olympic Games, 2x SILVER European Championships, 2002 BRONZE European Championships, GOLD Commonwealth Games, 2x SILVER Commonwealth Games.
Achievements: 2011 British All Around Champion 2010 British All Around Champion, SILVER Commonwealth Games hoop, 4th All Around, World & European Championships Competitor 2009 British All Around Champion, World & European Championships Competitor 2007 British All Around Champion, LG International All Around Champion, World & European Championships Competitor 2006 British All Around Champion, Commonwealth Games Competitor.
Achievements: 2011 Senior English Champion, European Championships all around 13th & Beam 8th, British Champion, World Championships all around 9th, 2010 British Champion, BRONZE Porto World Cup World Championships all around 16th, SILVER Glasgow Gran Prix, 2009 17th All Around European Championships, British Team Championships All Around Champion, 5th British Championships 2008 Welsh Open Beam Champion, British Team Champions, BRONZE British Championships All Around, Beam Champion, SILVER Floor, 9th Olympic Team.
Achievements: 2011 British Champion, SILVER Synchronised with Amanda Parker World Cup CHN, GOLD individual & SILVER Synchronised with Amanda Parker World Cup GER, BRONZE & SILVER Synchronised with Amanda Parker World Cup CZE, World Ranking List 1 for both individual & synchronised with Amanda Parker, SILVER team, BRONZE synchronised with Amanda Parker & 8th individual World Championships 2009 British Champion, 18th World Championships individual.
Achievements: Captain of Glasgow roller derby all star travel team the irn bruisers in the 2012 season. Played for team all Ireland in the 2011 roller derby word cup where we placed 10th. Invited to compete against London brawling as part of a European all star team. Voted mvp Glasgow roller derby for 2011 season.
Achievements: One of the original members of the London Rockin' Rollers. Jack Attack was head coach for LRR for 2 years and still is an active member of the coaching committee. Jack coaches from extreme beginner to advanced skater in the league and thoroughly enjoy all levels of coaching and improving peoples skills. She was captain of the A team for 2 "seasons" and captain of one of the intra-league teams "the Neanderdolls" for 1 season. She haa been invited to and guest skated for many leagues over the 4-5 years she has been playing Roller derby including the Euro-crash team and also get invited to coach leagues around UK and Europe. She played for England at the first ever Roller Derby World Cup.
Achievements: Captain of London Brawling for 4 seasons. London Brawling are the number 1 ranked Roller Derby team in Europe and the first none-North American team to qualify for the WFTDA Regional Playoffs where we entered 10th seed and finished 5th seed in the Eastern Region.
Also voted MVP for Team England in the first ever Roller Derby World Cup in 2011.
Achievements: Captain of Team England placed 3rd in the first ever world cup 2011, Tournament MVP at East Coast Playoffs 2011, WFTDA skater of of Month October 2011, MVP England Vs Canada 2011.
Achievements: England Academy, A Team and Sevens
Captained SW U16 and U18, Clifton Ladies, England Sevens, A Team
Youngest England Player
2006: England's Sevens Most Promising Player
2010: Nominated for IRB Player of the Year
2010: Nominated for IRPA Try of the Year
AASE Talent Development Officer for the RFUW.
Achievements: England U19 and U20
England U18's at rounders too
2007-2008: Leicester's Mercury Young Sports Women
2012: Six Nations Leading points scorer
Sport and Exercise degree at Leeds Metropolitan Uni.
Achievements: England at IRB Sevens, European Champs, Nations Cup, Six Nations, Rugby World Cup Current VC Saracens & England
2006: IRB Player of the Year
2010: Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year
2011: First woman to win the Rugby Union Writers' Club, Pat Marshall Award
Talent Development Officer for the RFUW.
Achievements: England Students, Academy and A Team
Captain Bristol Ladies
50 International caps
2008: Clifton's Player of the Season
2011: Bristol Ladies Player of the Season
2011: England Coaches' Player of the Season
Achievements: One part of a team of three, alongside Lucy and Kate Macgregor, make up the GBR Match Race Girls, who together have gained National, European and World Championship titles. Known as the 'powerhouse' of the trio she adds a strong technical aspect to the team as well as a wealth of knowledge.
Achievements: Bryony is the UK's top ranked female windsurfer and is the country's first Olympic Bronze medallist in her class, which she won at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Bryony is now striving to win a Gold medal during the London 2012 games.
Achievements: Hannah is one of the country's most outstanding young sailors and, to date, is the only girl to win the Volvo Optimist National Championships in 2002 and is the first British sailor to be crowned Optimist Girls' World Champion in 2003. In 2006 she won the 420 Worlds and a silver medal at the 2011 Pre-Olympic Test. Hannah represented Team GB at the Beijing Olympics and has been selected for London 2012 together with sailing partner Saskia Clark.
Achievements: Lucy is currently ranked 2nd in the ISAF World Rankings. With a proven record in international match racing, Macgregor fast established herself as the leading British helm in the new Elliott 6m women's Olympic Classes match racing boat. In 2011 they won gold in Hyeres in April and silver at June's Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta.
Achievements: Won gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancover making her the first British individual gold medalist at a Winter Olympics for 30 years. Won silver at 2009 world championships and bronze at 2011 european skeleton championships.
Achievements: British number one has won the Senior British National Championships 6 times (02, 03, 05, 07, 08, 09) and has competed in three Winter Olympic Games and six FIS World Championships.
Achievements: The UK's most globally respected and successful professional snowboarder. Won gold at the Winter X Games '10 and '09, gold at the Winter X Games Europe '10. Finished 2nd in 06, 6th in 07 and 4th in 08 on the Ticket to Ride (World Snowboard Tour).
Achievements: British snowboarding number one, finished 8th at the 2010 winter olympics in Snowboard Cross. Awarded British Olympic Association Athlete of the year 07/08-08/09 for snow sports.
Achievements: Current world ranking: 28; Highest world ranking: 3. Alison's team, Surrey Health and Racquets, won the Premier Squash League this year becoming the only team to win it three times in a row and four times overall. 2012 has seen Alison return from a lengthy injury and she has already won three tour titles in the past four months; the Cannon Kirk Irish Open, the Granite Club Open and the Atwater Cup. Alison was also the 2010 British National Champion, beating Jenny Duncalf in the final.
Achievements: Current world ranking: 32; Highest world ranking: 31. Emily is ranked number 1 in the European Junior U19 Rankings, a position she has held steady since November last year. Despite her tender years (18), Emily is already making waves on the WISPA tour winning three in a row this year - the Swiss Open, the NSC Series and the Finnish Open. She has won the European Junior U19s Championship two years in a row and this year won it without dropping a single game. This year she was also part of the U21s team that brought home third place in the World Cup.
Achievements: Current world ranking: 2; Highest world ranking: 2. She is a two-time British National Champion and brought home two silver medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She has also represented England in the World Team Squash Championships in 2006 - the year they brought home the winner's trophy. 2009 and 2010 contained her most prolific wins on the WISPA Professional tour, including winning the prestigious Qatar Classic and the Punj Lloyd Masters.
Achievements: Current world ranking: 4; Highest world ranking: 3. Laura is riding high at the moment after some hard work with her coach (and husband) has left her game better than it has ever been. In 2011, Laura won the US Open, the British National Championships (which she successfully defended in 2012), and the Cleveland Classic (beating Nicol David to do so). She was awarded the WISPA Player of the Year 2011. She also brought home a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the Women's Doubles.
Achievements: 2008 Paralympic gold 100m 400m freestyle (s6), 2010 IPC World Championship Gold 50m, 100m 400m (s6) and 200m individual medley (SM6) 2011 IPC European Gold 400m freestyle (s6) and 200m individual medley.
Achievements: British Record Holder in Long Course 50m, 100m Freestyle, Long course 50,100 Butterfly Short Course 50m Freestyle. 50m 100m butterfly. European Record Holder Short Course 100m Freestyle. Silver medalist 100m.
Achievements: British Record Holder Long course 1500m freestyle, Olympic silver medalist 2008 10km marathon, 2011 and 2009 world championship gold 10km, 2010 Bronze commonwealth medal 400 individual medley, 2011.
Achievements: 2008 Olympic Gold 400m, 800m Freestyle 800m Freestyle World Record Holder 8.14.10, 800m Freestyle World Champion 2011 400m freestyle silver 2011 world championships, 2010 Commonwealth Gold 400m, 800m.
Achievements: Pro-circuit tour
Singles: 19 Wins and 10 Runner-ups
Doubles: 8 Wins and 2 Runner-ups
Grand Slam and WTA Bests
Australian Open: 2nd round 2011
French Open: 1st round 2009-2011
Wimbledon: 2nd round 2004, 2008 and 2011
US Open: 3rd round 2008
Indian Wells: 1st round 2009 and 2010
Key Biscayne: 1st round 2009 and 2010.
Achievements: Singles: 10 Wins and 3 Runner-ups
Doubles: 4 Wins and 4 Runner-ups
Grand Slam and WTA Tour Bests
Australian Open: 3rd round in 2005 and 2010
French Open: 2nd round 2011
Wimbledon: 3rd round 2002
US Open: 2nd round in 2010 and 2011
Indian Wells: 3rd round 2010
Key Biscayne: 2nd round 2010 and 2011.
Achievements: Pro-circuit tour
Singles: 3 wins and 1 runner-up
Grand slam and WTA tour bests
French Open: 2nd round 2011
Wimbledon: 1st round 2010 and 2011
US Open: 1st round 2011
Key Biscayne: 1st round 2010 and 2011.
Achievements: Pro-circuit tour
Singles: 2 wins and 2 runner-ups.
Major Junior Finals
Won: Wimbledon 2008
Runner-up: Australian Open 2009 and 2010.
Achievements: Current Ironman Triathlon World Champion. She holds all three world and championship records relating to ironman-distance triathlon races: firstly, the overall world record, secondly, the Ironman World Championship course record, and thirdly, the official world record for all Ironman-branded triathlon races over the full Ironman distance. She won the World Championship in three consecutive years (2007-2009), but was unable to start the 2010 World Championship race because of illness, then regained the title in 2011. She is the first British athlete to hold the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, and remains undefeated over the Ironman distance. 3 times winner of Challenge Roth (where she has lowered the world record on every occasion she has raced).
Achievements: Professional triathlete and the 2008 and 2011 ITU World Champion
ITU World Championships
Gold 2008 Vancouver Elite
Gold 2011 Beijing Elite
Gold 2011 Lausanne Team
Pontevedra Triathlon - 1st
Singapore 70.3 - 2nd
ETU Portugal Quarteria - 4th
BTF Elite National Champs - 1st
French Grand Prix, Dunkirk - 1st (Team) 4th (Individual)
ITU World Series, Madrid - DNFFrench Grand Prix, Tures - 3rd (Team)
London Triathlon - 3rd
ITU World Long Course Champs, Perth - 1st WORLD CHAMPION
ITU World Cup, Huatulco Mexico - 4th
Bermuda Pro Triathlon - 1st
Achievements: Most recently third at 2012 Quarteria ETU Triathlon Junior Championships 2011 National champion at Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon disciplines.