- Lauren Fleshman is crowned the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2023, taking home a £30,000 cash prize
- In the Award’s 35-year history, Good For A Girl marks the first women’s memoir to receive the prize
Lauren Fleshman’s book, Good for a Girl: My Life Running in a Man’s World has been crowned the 2023 winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, picking up a prize of £30,000 at an official ceremony today (30 November), at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, in London.
The announcement makes history as it is the first book about women in sport, authored by a woman, to receive the world’s most prestigious sports writing prize.
The US champion’s part memoir, part manifesto documents Fleshman’s story of falling in love with running as a girl, battling devastating injuries and self-doubt, and daring to fight for a better way for female athletes. Drawing not only on her own story, but also on emerging research on the physiology and psychology of young athletes, Fleshman gives voice to the often-silent experience of the female athlete and argues that the time has come to rebuild our systems of competitive sport to allow women to perform at their best.
A panel of independent judges from the world of sports and journalism, chaired by author and journalist, Alyson Rudd, undertook a rigorous judging process, reviewing more than 150 entries down to the winning book.
The Judges praised Good for a Girl for its “heartfelt narrative” and “compelling writing”, as well as its crucial advocacy for reform in sports for young women. Renowned sports broadcaster, Matt Williams, declared Fleshman’s book “not just one of the best sports books that I’ve read this year, but one of the best books full stop.”
Receiving the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award trophy and a £30,000 cash prize today, Lauren Fleshman said: “Having a woman being elevated for telling her own story is rare, and we need a lot more of that. That’s why awards like this are so important. I came here optimistic, but then convinced myself I had no chance when I looked at the shortlist.
“I am delighted to be the winner of this prestigious award. I hope it makes sport better for the future of women and girls.”
Alyson Rudd, Chair of the Judging Panel for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, said: “We had such an exceptionally high-quality shortlist this year, and selecting a winner was no small feat. For the first time, women’s books dominated, showing that more women are being commissioned to tell their stories, with many bravely tackling challenges within the sporting world.
“Good for a Girl is not only a must-read book on the challenges that women face in sport but a moving and informative memoir that will grip those who are not athletics fans. Lauren Fleshman exposes and shatters myths with disarming honesty and exceptional writing – it is a wonderful read and thoroughly deserving of the title William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2023.”
The New York Times Bestseller, and now William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award winner, highlights the challenges women face in competitive running, exposing the flaws in the sports structure that is failing young women as much as empowering them. Through her drive for change, Fleshman confronts the misogynistic origins of sports, and even her sponsors, and addresses the concerning decline in girl’s participation once they hit puberty. The narrative also explores the struggles faced by female collegiate athletes, such as injuries, eating disorders and mental health issues.
The five authors on the shortlist, alongside Lauren Fleshman, receive £3,000 and a leather-bound copy of their book. They are:
- Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson by Sally H. Jacobs
- Concussed: Sport’s Uncomfortable Truth by Sam Peters
- Kick The Latch by Kathryn Scanlan
- Unbreakable by Ronnie O’Sullivan
- Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport by Sharron Davies with Craig Lord
Having secured the 35th winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, Lauren Fleshman joins an impressive list of previous winners, including last year’s champion Jeremy Wilson. For the second consecutive year, a book centred on women’s sports clinches the award. Fleshman becomes the third woman to be awarded the prestigious prize joining former winners Anna Krien and Laura Hillenbrand.
The William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award first took place in 1989 and is now the longest-established competition in the industry. It is dedicated to rewarding excellence in sports writing and is the world’s most prestigious award in the sector.
Entry to the 36th William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award is now open. For more information about the Award and to enter, please visit: https://news.williamhill.com/sport/sports-book-of-the-year/
The largest exhibition of the gaming industry in Bulgaria marks its 15 year
The largest trade exhibition of the gaming industry for Central and Eastern Europe – BEGE, which takes place in Sofia, marks its 15th anniversary this year. The event will be held on November 27th and 28th at the Inter Expo Center, Sofia, and dozens of companies from Europe, the USA, and Asia have already announced their participation.
The day before the start of the exhibition, the traditional BEGE Awards will be handed out. The glamorous ceremony will take place on 26 November 2024 in a sophisticated setting with the participation of representatives from across the sector. The awards are presented to individuals and companies with significant contributions to the gaming and entertainment industry.
During the exhibition, the Eastern European conference of the gaming industry – EEGS will be held, again at the Inter Expo Center. It is a preferred platform for experts who have the opportunity to learn about regulatory changes, technological developments and the latest trends in the sector.
In 2023, dozens of exhibitors from three continents presented their latest products. “We are glad that hundreds of professionals and experts visited BEGE and our expectations for this year are to welcome even more people. For 15 years, the event has become one of the most influential exhibitions in Europe for the sector, gathering experts, professionals and companies from all over the world, covering all verticals of the online and offline segments of the industry,” explained Natalia Baevska, Project Manager of the exhibition.
BEGE provides an opportunity to make business contacts, present the latest products from the industry, which successfully applies the latest technological innovations, including artificial intelligence.
Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024
Esports is raising its position among top sports by bets in 2023. The product team of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, a top sports betting software provider, reflects on the past year.
Esports Unstoppable Rise
Over the past three years, the top three sports by bets remain unchanged, with football, tennis and basketball maintaining their leadership. In contrast, esports has demonstrated a consistent upward trend, progressing from the seventh position in 2021 to the fourth in 2023. Notably, Counter-Strike stands out, claiming the sixth position among the top ten disciplines by the number of bets.
Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, comments: “Considering the rise of esports, we guide our partners to focus on cyber disciplines, engaging audiences beyond traditional betting demographics. Highlighting the cybersports potential for operators, Newzoo’s report projects 640 million viewers by 2025.”
Mobiles Drive 92% of Operator GGR
Another notable trend in sports betting, which has remained unchanged for several years, is the consistent growth in bets made from mobile devices. According to the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, 80% of bets in 2023 were placed via mobile versus 70% in 2022 and 68% in 2021. This trend solidifies as players increasingly opt for mobile convenience, especially in live betting scenarios. More importantly, it was mobile devices that contributed 92% to the operators’ GGR.
Kamenetskyi adds: “Mobile betting is one of our main focuses in product development. We put much effort into improving our mobile application and mobile website. It is specifically important for locations facing challenges with internet connectivity and regions like LatAm and Africa where internet coverage is still growing.”
Casino Turnover Drops During Major Sports Events
The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has repeatedly emphasised shifts in player behaviour around major sports events. Specifically, there was a 10–20% drop in online casino turnover, coinciding with the World Cup 2022. This highlights a dynamic wherein a significant portion of casino players redirect their focus towards sports betting based on seasonal patterns. Considering audience preferences, reinforcing casinos with sportsbooks is a logical step.
Kamenetskyi adds: “This pattern underscores the strategic imperative for iGaming stakeholders to recognise the synergistic relationship between casino ventures and sportsbooks. Combining these options not only enhances casino appeal but also maintains player engagement, especially during sports events. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is compatible with any casino platform on the market.”
Additionally, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team notes the strengthening of other trends like regulation and responsible gambling that have recently been highlighted in the iGaming Trends 2024 report by SOFTSWISS. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team will be glad to discuss all learnings during the first SBC Summit Rio at the stand D360.
SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.
Control F5 Anticipates High Expectations for Gaming Insights Rio in Collaboration with SuperHost
In a recent interview, Andres Alves, Commercial Director for Control F5, a recognized technology and entertainment company, shared exciting details about the upcoming Gaming Insights Rio 2024, a series of events dedicated to the gaming industry in Brazil.
“At Control F5, we are thrilled to collaborate with SuperHost on Gaming Insights Rio,” Alves said. “This event will not only bring together the leading professionals and leaders of the gaming industry but will also provide a space to discuss emerging trends and exciting opportunities offered by the Brazilian gaming market.”
Gaming Insights Rio is designed to offer a comprehensive experience with inspiring talks, interactive panel discussions and valuable networking opportunities. Collaboration with SuperHost further enhances the importance of the event, promising a week of memorable and impactful events for the gaming industry in Brazil.
Control F5 is committed to providing a unique experience at Gaming Insights Rio and looks forward to welcoming participants from #GamingInsights.
- The largest exhibition of the gaming industry in Bulgaria marks its 15 year
- Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024
- Week 8/2024 slot games releases
- Control F5 Anticipates High Expectations for Gaming Insights Rio in Collaboration with SuperHost
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