BY ADAM HAYWARD @hayward_adamk
Women’s sports rise to prominence, inspiring girls to follow their dreams
The meteoric rise in women’s sports has been one of the most exciting trends in the entire sporting industry in Australia as every prominent sporting code have now formed their own elite women’s competitions.
- AFL introduced the Australian Rules Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition.
- Cricket has their national women’s cricket team, the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
- Soccer has their national women’s soccer team (Matildas) and the W-League women’s soccer competition.
- Rugby League has its national women’s team (Jillaroos), an annual women’s State of Origin match and the newly formed NRL Women’s League (NRLW) competition.
- Rugby Union has its national women’s team (Wallaroos) and its newly formed Women’s Rugby Union competition (Super W).
- Netball has its national team (Diamonds) and its highly popular National Netball League (Suncorp Super Netball).
- Basketball has its national team (Opals) and the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).
And it’s not just the prominent team sports doing well, Australia is producing many top calibre female athletes in individual sports like tennis, golf, surfing, mixed martial arts and many Olympic sports.
Women’s sports has grown and developed into the elite level where a large percentage of female athletes now compete full time and are paid accordingly, with increased exposure through television, online streaming, media coverage and sponsorship’s, is driving the rise of high profile female athletes and record levels of interest and support.
Superstars like Ellyse Perry, Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Bassett are among the most influential female athletes inspiring a generation of girls simply by showing their world class talents and competitiveness.
With women’s sports at the elite level making unprecedented progress, the ‘glass ceiling’ preventing women and girls taking up sports at grassroots levels which included lack of girls teams and competitions to join, girls not being included in male dominated teams and sports and limited pathways for women and girls to compete at the elite level, has been shattered.
Although there’s still plenty of progress to be made at the elite level and grassroots level, girls are being inspired to follow their sporting dreams and are encouraged to have a go at whichever sport they love.
Sport is a very important part of Australia’s culture, and now that culture is being enriched by women and girls not only being encouraged to compete, but succeeding in traditionally male dominated sports.
Featured image: Sam Kerr selfie, Instagram/Nike