Inside Lines: Snubbing Stevenson is a real kick in the teeth for girl power

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The Independent Online

You know the naughty stool beckons when Harriet Harman gets on her high horse.

Noting that the list of 10 nominees for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year is more than a tad short on girl power, the new shadow headmistress of the nation's culture, media and sport calls for the immediate inclusion of a fistful of names who are "inspirations to girls and young sportswomen".

Actually, we don't need politically correct bandwagoners to tell us that a ricket has been made in the selection process.

The Beeb says it will be revised next year so here's a suggestion. Instead of nominations from a predominantly all-male sports media, have an advisory panel composed of people with knowledge and experience of a wide spectrum of sport; names like Kate Hoey, a former sports minister, UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Lord Coe come to mind.

The omission from the SPOTY list of Sarah Stevenson is the one I find most perplexing.

OK, so taekwondo may not grab everyone by the footballs but her achievement in going into the Korean backyard of her sport and winning a world title – for the second time – knowing both her parents had been diagnosed with terminal cancer surely was an achievement worthier than half those of the men nominated.

On Wednesday the Sports Journalists' Association announce the winners of their own members' awards made separately to men and women. Astonishingly Sarah hasn't made the shortlist for that, either. She is entitled to feel these media snubs are an even bigger kick in the teeth than any received on the mat.

Cheek by Jowell?

Despite the burning of an effigy of Lord Coe, the threatened Indian boycott of the London Olympics over the involvement of Dow Chemicals remains a storm in a cup of Darjeeling.

However there is some surprise that the shadow Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, felt strongly enough to suggest that Locog – on whose board she sits – should now cancel the deal. It is the first time that she has come close to rocking the 2012 boat.

Could it be that she feels the need for some muscle-flexing now that Ms Harman seems to be involving herself in Olympic affairs?

Boxing's screen test

The Olympic gold medallist James DeGale continues his ring rehab following that galling defeat by George Groves, making the first defence of his European super-middleweight title against Spain's Jose Maria Guerrero in Liverpool on Friday.

The bout may prove less of a test for him than the new all-boxing channel BoxNation, which after a promising free trial run, has become a subscription service on Sky 456 and Virgin Media 546. Easy enough digits to remember but the ones which count are the numbers of fans who will tune in for a tenner a month; seems a reasonable figure for what is virtually round-the-clock fight action fronted by John Rawling, Jim Rosenthal and Steve Bunce.

Not to mention someone undergoing a bit of screen rehab himself– ex-Sky man Richard Keys. Be interesting to hear his views on women's boxing.

Bog standard wee game

Apparently a British company Captive Media, has developed a video game to be played when answering the call of nature in pubs. Instead of staring blankly at the wall, men can now aim at targets in the bowl with scores being shown on a console.

A trial has proved popular in pubs in south London and Cambridge, though the government is considering banning it. A pity, as surely it has potential as an Olympic sport – combined with an instant drugs test.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

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