March 8th, 2022, is International Women’s Day, a day to give applause to the fabulous women we have around us. This year’s theme is to Break the Bias.
In 2022, we should have gender-equal opportunities and be free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Women and girls in sports are continuing to fight for equality in the experiences their male counterparts have. It is up to us all to bring about the change we want to see, empower women and create an equal future for all.
This blog post is a celebration of nine female leaders in sport, celebrating their achievements in what we have seen has often been a man’s world.
Let’s hear it for the girls…
- Pat Summitt – NCAA Basketball Coach.
Pat Summit has an amazing 1098 wins in her court and holds the title of Naismith Coach of the Century.
- Natasha Jonas – Pro-Boxer
The Liverpool native is well known for winning 8 out of her 14 fights by knock-out and was the first-ever female boxer to compete in the Olympic Games. The historic event took place in China in May 2012, and she went on to win bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games.
- Jill Ellis –FIFA Football Coach.
Jill Ellis holds a 17 game winning streak, an overall record of 106-7-19, win, draw and lose respectively. She also won back-to-back FIFA World Cups.
- Leona Maguire – Golf
Leona Maguire holds the record for being at the No.1 spot in the World Amateur Golf Rankings for 135 weeks. She is also the first Irishwomen to play in the Solheim Cup.
- Joanna Rowsell – Cycling
A World Champion record holder and London 2012 Olympic Cycling Champion, Joanna Rowsell also won double gold medals in both the World Championship and Common Wealth Games.
- Mary Wise – Volleyball
At just 21, Wise became the youngest Division 1 head coach ever hired when she worked at Iowa State Cyclones volleyball. Her achievements have been widely recognised in the volleyball world. She has won the SEC Coach of the year award 15 times including 5 years in a row from 1998 to 2002.
- Ellie Simmonds – Paralympian Swimmer
Simmons is a widely known Paralympian swimmer. Winning two gold medals in the 2020 Beijing Olympics, 2 gold medals in London 2012, a gold in the Rio 2016 Olympics she had done her country proud. She is also a world record holder in the 400m freestyle and 200m medley.
- Sonia O’Sullivan- Track and Field Athlete
Sonia O’Sullivan’s time of 5:25.36 was a world record in 1994 and remained one until 2017 when it was broken by Ethiopian runner Genzebe Dibaba. Some of Sonia O’Sullivan’s achievements include a gold medal at the 1995 World Championships and a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
- Simone Biles- Gymnastics
At just 24, Biles has an incredible 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. At the 2016 Olympic Games, she became the first woman female gymnast to win the most gold medals at one Olympic Games.
Women in Sport
Whilst the gap of women in sports is closing and female athletes are beginning to get the recognition they deserve from the press, it is up to women and men everywhere to continue raising awareness about the inequalities in sport and sporting recognitions in an aim to get women the equal opportunity they deserve.
Happy International Women’s Day.