The 50 most influential women in sport: The job of navigating the nominations goes to...

The judging panel was joined by Lisa Markwell (fourth from right), who is editor of The Independent on Sunday; Emily Dugan (third from right), social affairs editor of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, who has written extensively on the need for more investment and equality in women’s sport; and Matt Tench (not pictured), sports editor of The Independent on Sunday and i

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The Independent Online

Maggie Alphonsi, rugby World Cup winner with England Women and powerhouse flanker for Saracens WRFC, is one of the most famous characters in British sport. She has played in two World Cups, shared in a record-breaking seven successive Six Nations titles with England and, typically, has now switched her ambitions to qualifying to compete at the Rio Olympics as a shot-putter. Alphonsi is one of four Rugby World Cup 2015 Ambassadors. She also represents several charities with an emphasis on female participation. In 2010, she was the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year.

Jo Bostock is  co-founder and joint CEO of the highly influential Women’s Sport Trust, a role she shares with the martial arts coach, Tammy Parlour. She specialises in gender progression in the workplace and has written a book for Cambridge University about ways in which women see themselves as successful. The WST run the annual #BeAGameChanger Awards to encourage recognition and funding for women’s sport and has just launched an innovative online women’s sport magazine, The Mixed Zone.

Sally Horrox is a recruitment specialist with a background in sport and business. Once a lawyer, she is CEO of Y-Sport, a management and sponsorship consultancy focusing on developing women’s sport. She is a specialist in bringing together commercial and sporting endeavours to maximise value for both, and played a major role in developing the FA Women’s Super League in England, the springboard for the national team’s success at this summer’s Fifa World Cup. Horrox is also a non-executive director for England Netball.

Sue Mott, the Women’s Sport Correspondent for BT Sport, is an award-winning journalist and author. Her former roles have included chief sports interviewer at The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. Mott’s career has spanned radio, television and print, and has taken her to cover global events including World Cups, Olympics, Grand Slam tennis and, above all, Arsenal. She is the editor of The Mixed Zone, the new website for women’s sport.

Once a professional singer, Reshmin Chowdhury is now a sports journalist and broadcaster working for the BBC and BT Sport. She worked for BBC World during London 2012 and has travelled the world interviewing sportspeople. For the past year, Chowdhury has worked as a presenter on the BT Sport show SportsHUB Late. She is a Spurs fan.

Gail Emms is an Olympic medallist and former world champion badminton player. She has a string of international medals and took Silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004 with mixed doubles partner Nathan Robertson. Since retiring from professional competition in 2008, Emms has been an ambassador for the Youth Sport Trust and Badminton Sport England, while introducing her two sons to the action-packed pleasure of sport. She was appointed an MBE in 2009 and is a passionate supporter of women’s sport as well as comical, straight-talking contributor to BBC Radio 5’s Fighting Talk.

Joanna Manning-Cooper is the marketing director for this year’s RFU World Cup, making it her responsibility to oversee marketing activity around ticketing, sales and brand campaigning. She earned her stripes as head of global public relations and media at the London 2012 Olympics and previously worked as director of global communications at the Financial Times. She is a member of the Portsmouth Supporters Trust and a community shareholder in Portsmouth FC.

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