Hearing the TV football commentators saying ‘that was intelligent’ last night, made me smile and teasing my husband, commented it’s not a comment I’ve ever heard watching male football over many years (and although tongue in cheek, I don’t think I actually have...?!)
In the last couple of years’ it seems there has been a real break-through in women’s football (and netball, hockey, cricket…) Women in team-sports are being seen as credible, serious and competitive, and women are getting some respect, including getting proper airtime and being supported by prominent advocates to help spread the word, including of course Beckham in the crowd.
Albeit, the TV coverage may be a little contrived to give the proper level of gravitas, it is refreshing that at least the effort is being made to pay the due courtesy respect. The thing is, these women footballers are valid, and are being seen as valid, that they can perform at the highest level in their sport, and have relevant skills, and are interesting to watch! These players have been inspired by generations who have played the game with little recognition, and now are role-models themselves who must be inspiring girls at an even younger age to enjoy the sport and gain skills. At last, it is seen as an option now for girls to play from school (in some cases), to achieve and have ambitions in football.
I can’t wait until we see the programs of development for women in football paying more and more dividends and gaining more commercial backing (and perhaps even the next successful achiever being awarded the Woman’s Ballon D’or will not be asked something totally irrelevant at the moment of her success!)
This continued additional visible success and respect is so important, as it gives added support to raise the confidence of girls and women in all walks of life, and proving that they should have a fair chance as equals in life, whatever path they choose, including in their career paths.