It’s fair to say that women’s sport doesn’t get quite the same exposure as the men’s side of things, but is this situation starting to move in a more positive direction? This week saw the announcement that the BBC has successfully secured the rights for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup following its popular coverage of the 2015 event, and the National Lottery funded This Girl Can campaign is currently on TV screens and billboards across the country. So seeing as today (8th March) is International Women’s Day, we going to take a look at some of these developments as well as how women and girls can get involved…
International and British Women’s Sporting Events
As well as the FIFA World Cup to look forward to in a couple of years, you might not know that the Women’s Cricket World Cup is coming even sooner, this June in fact, and that’s not the only good news – it takes place in England so you’ve got no excuse not to keep up to date. But that’s not the only major women’s sporting event close to home this summer – the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup is in Ireland in August with all matches happening in Belfast and Dublin. Well worth a summer mini break to the Emerald Isle we think, but if you can’t manage a trip, ITV will be showing the women’s event for the first time.
There’s also the Vitality Netball Superleague which continues until the final takes place in June and the women’s golf Solheim Cup in August. In you want to find out more information about all the upcoming women’s sporting events taking place throughout the year along with insights from some of your favourite women in sport, today Sky Sports are devoting a large chunk of their coverage to just this as an International Women’s Day celebration.
Breaking Down Your Own Barriers
When it comes to your own sporting activity, there could be any number of reasons why you don’t participate as much as you’d like. Let’s not pretend that men and women face the same amount of constraints on their time – yes we all work, but statistically women undertake a lot more of the household tasks and childcare responsibilities, leaving much less time for exercise and recreational activity. If you find yourself in this position, getting more exercise can be about getting creative with your current schedule and seeing if you can incorporate some exercise into your routine – for example, walking to work or school instead of getting public transport, seeing if you can squeeze a 20-minute run into your morning or putting aside one evening a week for a class.
Making a commitment can sometimes be the most difficult obstacle to overcome, but if you treat yourself and invest in some sportswear and accessories, then you might increase your chances of sticking to it. To celebrate International Women’s Day, premium streetwear retailer 5 Pointz are offering 20% off their women’s footwear, and their range includes trainers from names such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas and Asics – the perfect excuse to start pounding those pavements and parks.
This Girl Can
You may have seen their recent TV advertisements, and the This Girl Can campaign from Sport England and funded by The National Lottery takes a different look at the reasons women and girls might be put off participating in sport, namely for fear of judgement. Their helpful site contains plenty of inspiration for women of all ages and interests with suggestions for new sports and activities to try and links on how you can get involved in your local area, making it the perfect starting point for your new sporting journey.
There are many ways you can celebrate International Women’s Day this year, but what better way for your own well-being than taking the first steps to participating in a new sporting activity. And it goes without saying that we should all be watching more women’s sport in general, right?
By Anna Scott, 8th March 2017