Women’s sports activities have seen an enormous enhance in curiosity, each when it comes to participation and bums in seats, during the last decade or two. Depending on the place you might be on the planet, some sports activities can be extra standard than others (it’s the identical for women and men).
For instance, if you’re studying this within the United States of America, then it’s seemingly that you regard soccer (or soccer) as a extremely standard sport for ladies…arguably extra so than it’s for males. The USA ladies’s nationwide group are one of many superpowers of the sport, profitable the World Cup on 4 events.
Soccer, after all, is way from being the one sport – although it does have the largest international attraction – with many different sports activities standard amongst women and girls.
What Sports do Girls Most Like to Play?
Across the Atlantic, ladies’s soccer remains to be very a lot within the shadow of the boys’s recreation in Europe however issues are altering. It could be ludicrous to counsel in any other case. While males’s groups persistently sell-out 60,000-pus stadiums, the typical attendances for ladies’s groups are significantly decrease.
More and extra women are enjoying soccer, with the game being one of many prime collaborating sports activities in Europe. However, different sports activities proceed to see greater charges of participation by women, with the likes of tennis, cricket and swimming all being standard picks for the fairer intercourse.
Tennis is taken into account to be one of many sports activities the place the gender hole is the smallest, though not totally invisible. While there are separate excursions for males (ATP) and girls (WTA), the 4 grand slam occasions (the largest prizes within the sport) function each female and male competitions – each held in the identical excessive regard. For each Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, there’s a Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
The distinction between males’s and girls’s tennis is that males play to the most effective of 5 units at grand slam tournaments, whereas ladies proceed to play to the most effective of three as they do all season spherical. Many tournaments have began giving out the identical prize cash for ladies as they do for males.
As nicely as tennis, golf is one other sport the place it may be thought-about that the gender hole is closing quicker than ever. Women’s golf is definitely bettering, each when it comes to commonplace and curiosity, and like tennis has a thriving feminine tour that enjoys nice curiosity.
The introduction of the Solheim Cup in 1990, the ladies’s reply to the Ryder Cup, has confirmed to be an enormous success. The 2021 Solheim Cup was performed in entrance of greater than 130,000 followers throughout the seven-day interval (together with observe video games) – and that was even with Covid journey restrictions prohibiting many European followers from travelling to Toledo, Ohio. Having an increasing number of profitable golf trophies, like those from Fen Regis Trophies to play for definitely helps to spice up the attraction of the sport, each when it comes to enjoying and watching.
The Most Watched Women’s Sports
According to the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) within the UK, 2021 was a record-breaking 12 months for ladies’s sports activities from a broadcasting perspective. The two largest occasions had been soccer’s FA Women’s Super League and cricket’s The Hundred, which accounted for almost 11 million viewers between them.
We have already talked about the rising recognition of ladies’s soccer, however to non-British readers, the information of ladies’s cricket being so extremely standard might come as a shock. To present some background, cricket is among the most performed and watched sports activities within the UK, significantly in England, and The Hundred is a brand new idea that shortens the in any other case long-form recreation all the way down to 100 balls per group. This means that matches end in a a lot faster time, subsequently designed to seize and retain the curiosity of a wider viewers.
The Hundred positioned each males’s and girls’s cricket on equal standing, typically with ladies’s and males’s video games performed one after the opposite on the identical venue. This meant that followers obtained extra cricket for his or her cash and, with the ladies’s recreation feeding off the curiosity for the boys’s recreation, this helped to raise the ladies’s recreation. Overall, the primary holding of The Hundred in 2021 was thought-about to be an awesome success.
In the UK, 32.9 million individuals watched ladies’s sport in 2021, which helped with a superb serving to of ladies’s sport made obtainable to look at on free-to-air tv channels equivalent to BBC and ITV. Co-founder of the WST stated within the press launch: “The significance of free-to-air, alongside Pay-TV protection, in bringing new audiences to ladies’s sport shouldn’t be underestimated.
“Domestic competitions equivalent to The Hundred and the Women’s Super League are the proper gateway to viewing extra ladies’s sport and I stay up for seeing the influence different main worldwide occasions this 12 months could have on future viewing figures.
“We know how important these major events are in growing viewership figures but we want this growth to be sustainable, driving greater habit amongst audiences, to ensure women’s sport continues to be visible, viable and unstoppable.”
What the Future of Women’s Sport Looks Like
The future appears brilliant and with alternatives rising for women to take part, the usual will solely improve and, with that, so too will the curiosity. More and extra function fashions are giving women somebody to look as much as, equivalent to Emma Raducanu who received tennis’ US Open as a qualifier and Fallon Sherrock, who turned the primary lady to win a match on the PDC World Darts Championship.
More and extra glass ceilings are being damaged and as that continues to occur, the gender hole turns into even smaller. There remains to be a protracted method to go till ladies’s sport can really say it is the same as that of males, with some sports activities the place the ladies’s facet is arguably larger (equivalent to netball and gymnastics).
Until then, we will sit again and watch as so many nice and galvanizing women and girls proceed to push the boundaries.