Croydon’s Fraser named Woman of the Year by World Athletics

Croydon Harrier Donna Fraser has been named “Woman of the Year” as part of the World Athletics Awards 2022.

Woman of the Year: Donna Fraser

Fraser twice won world 4x400metres relay medals and in 2000 she placed fourth in the Sydney Olympic 400metres final.

She “has shown that same drive and passion in numerous projects off the track”, the world governing body said in announcing the honour.

World Athletics’ Woman of the Year Award “gives recognition to those that have made an outstanding contribution to promoting the advancement of gender equality in athletics”, they said. It is part of the Monte Carlo-based organisation’s World Athletes of the Year awards being staged on Monday.

Fraser, 50, regularly features in the governing body’s speaking panels on gender equality and frequently appears in the media to talk about diversity and inclusion.

She has held roles including equality, diversity and engagement lead at UK Athletics and in 2021 she received an OBE for services to equality, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

This year she served as head of inclusion and engagement for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, 24 years on from her bronze medal at the Games in Kuala Lumpur. Fraser has also been a trustee, adviser and board member for many organisations such as the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Women’s Sport Trust, British Athletes Commission, International Women’s Group and Her Spirit.

Outraged: how Donna Fraser responded to Inside Croydon’s reports of the closure of Crystal Palace athletics track

And she continues to be active and vocal on sporting matters in and around Croydon. This week Fraser spoke out about the scandalous neglect to the sports facilities at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, in particular the athletics stadium which has been closed because of the dangerous state of the 60-year-old floodlight pylons.

Responding to reporting by Inside Croydon of the closures, Fraser described the neglect of the NSC as “outrageous”. “Despite many efforts by Save Crystal Palace groups and former athletes, it’s crazy that this so-called National Sports Centre has been left to decay,” Fraser tweeted.

“A venue that has produced and hosted world-class athletes! So much for sporting legacy!!!!,” she said.

Yesterday, after her World Athletics award was revealed, Fraser said, “Women have different skills to men, and we need that diversity of thought.

“Our sport is extremely diverse, so that has to be replicated across all levels.

“It’s easy saying that we want more diversity in our sport, but what pathway is put in place to make sure that that is done? World Athletics has absolutely put its best foot forward to make sure that happens.

“I’m honoured to be part of this gender leadership programme. I love making a difference to my peers and seeing women wanting to excel themselves.”

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Croydon’s Fraser named Woman of the Year by World Athletics

  1. Lewis White says:

    Great that her achievements over decades, across the field of
    athletics, diversity and equality have been given international recognition.

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