Why young women are changing the way we think about sports.

Think back to last summer: long sunny days, no rain for weeks, crowds chanting “it’s coming home”, the three lions playing everywhere and the sense of hope that we might actually win the world cup. This year it is the women’s world cup. Will it be hyped up? Will there be as much excitement? Nope. Why not?

Because there is still stigma attached to women playing typically male sports and inequality in the industry. In the big leagues the struggle faced is huge. In Football the average prize money is £22, 075,000 whereas for women it is £561,231. That’s a difference of £21,513,770 and it will take a long time to change that but we have to start somewhere. However, closer to home there is still everyday sexism happening on our playing fields. Comments are still being made to young female players, for example “your good, for a girl” and decisions being made by female referees are still being overruled by young male footballers. Young women are also involved in less sports than boys. Did you know that only 31.9% of women play sport once a week compared to 40.5% of men?

But the young women of today are changing that. I interviewed my friend Emma Brady, who plays for AFC Wimbledon, she is also a referee. She said “girl’s games are often seen of a lesser importance than boy’s games” and “there is a definite difference in the attitudes surrounding girls playing football and boys playing football”. But yet despite the glass ceiling in sports, she plays every week and is an excellent footballer and referee. Along with her are many of my other friends who work hard to break down this barrier in sports, simply by just doing what they love without caring what other people think.

So next time someone tells you that you play well, for a girl, tell them that you have trained hard and deserve every ounce of your success and with that we will achieve equality in sports.