In 2012, through a partnership with ESPN, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) were presented in Southern California, home of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in Torrance, at the ESPN Los Angeles Studios in a live 1-hour telecast on ESPNU and in online partnership with espnW. Baylor University’s basketball phenom, Brittney Griner, received the 2012 Honda Cup before a live television audience and fans watching on television, online, and following the show via social media outlets for the first time in the history of the awards program. Previous Honda Cup winners include Ann Meyers Drysdale, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mia Hamm, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Courtney Kupets, Maya Moore, and Candace Parker.
In 1976, Tom Broderick, Irv Grossman and Dr. Judith R. Holland initiated a program called the “Broderick Awards,” named after Broderick who was then the owner of a sports apparel company, and under the guidance of Grossman and Holland with a wealth of experience in collegiate athletics. In 1985, American Honda Motor Co, Inc. became the program’s first sponsor and The Honda Awards Program came to life. Since those humble beginnings, The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA), rebranded and incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 2011, has operated the annual Honda Sports Awards program and presentation of the prestigious Honda Cup to the nation’s top collegiate woman athlete.
The Collegiate Women Sports Awards recognize not only superior athletic skills, but also leadership, academic excellence, and eagerness to participate in community service. Since that first award was given to Lucy Harris, a basketball player from Delta State University, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards has emerged as the premier women’s collegiate awards program in the nation, honoring 12 Division I NCAA woman athletes each year with the Honda Sports Awards, presenting the Division II and Division III Woman Athlete of the Year, Honda Inspiration Award Winner, and eventually presenting the top prize, the Honda Cup, to the collegiate woman athlete of the year.
Nominees are submitted by interest groups representing, but not limited to, sports experts, coaches associations, national governing bodies. Over 1,000 NCAA member institutions vote on the eventual winners of seasonal Honda Sports Awards for the top collegiate woman athlete in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Of the 12 Honda Sports Award winners, each becomes a finalist for the coveted Honda Cup. Division II and III Collegiate Women Athlete of the Year and Honda Inspiration Awards are presented alongside the Honda Cup.
From its inception and continuing to this day, the awards have been voted on by all NCAA member institutions.
Today the program includes the following awards:
• The Honda Cup (signifying the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year)
• 12 sports awards for the best female athlete in each of the 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports
• Division II Female Athlete of the Year
• Division III Female Athlete of the Year
• Honda Inspiration Award
• Irv Grossman Award of Merit