NORMALLY at this time we would be looking back and celebrating the wide variety of sport on offer during the year. However, this was not a normal year for almost all sports.

Early on, once we had a bit more knowledge about the virulence of Covid-19, there were some difficult decision to be made. Major tournaments were the first to be hit by cancellations, from the Olympics to the Euros, and given the logistics of delivering such a major event, it was the best move that could have been made.

We then had the impact of the virus on athletes. If they managed to avoid catching it, isolation could still take them out of the game, then came travel restrictions which stopped teams travelling across tiers.

Given this, I was slightly surprised that the BBC Sports Personality of the Year went ahead, but not too surprised to see that the line-up consisted of five male candidates and just one female, jockey Hollie Doyle.

For once I am not about to berate the BBC and shout about the poor representation of females in this line-up. The issue was much larger than that. I believe one of the casualties of the pandemic was that elite female athletes and their sports were, on the whole, not recognised as “important” and the focus was on male elite sports. Therefore, it took some time before women got back to participating.

The bright light that shone at the awards was the winner, Lewis Hamilton. I had formed an opinion on him which was blown out of the water with his acceptance speech. You build up a picture of someone from the soundbites you get on TV and the stories that you read on social media, but Hamilton clearly called for change and diversity and gender equity in all sport, and that speaks volumes about the man. His is definitely a male ally.

It’s been a long year for most people and as it is now drawing to a close, my hope is that by at least the spring of 2021 we can definitely enjoy participating in and watching sport without the interruptions that have plagued us, due to changing restrictions. So bring back sport for 2021, let us meet as friends to spectate, participate and have fun, all of which have been in short supply for most of 2020.