Women’s sports have been an integral part of human culture for millennia, beginning with Homer’s Princess Nausicaa playing ball with her handmaidens on Scheria island. Today, women’s sports remain an important element in American culture as evidenced by the growth in popularity of professional women’s teams and an uptick in girls and women participating in all types of athletics at all levels of competition.
Women’s Sports Benefits
Engaging in sports has long been linked to improved physical and mental wellbeing, including lower levels of depression and anxiety, better grades, fewer unintended pregnancies. Furthermore, female athletes tend to engage more readily than nonathletes in healthy behaviors like dieting and exercising.
Athletes are more likely to achieve academic and career success, with sports providing valuable communication, collaboration and leadership opportunities. Furthermore, athletes tend to perform better academically than nonathletes do.
The Growth of Women’s Sports
Women’s sports are on the rise globally due to their growing popularity with fans and sponsors alike. For instance, in 2019 alone, the FIFA Women’s World Cup attracted 14.3 million viewers – a figure expected to increase over time as more global events offer viewers opportunities to support female athletes and watch them compete.
There has been an uptick in media coverage of women’s sports, with sports broadcasters and cable channels investing more in these events. For sports marketers, this presents a lucrative opportunity as these ad dollars can yield substantial rewards for companies.
The Challenges of Women’s Sports
Women’s sport still faces a major obstacle – it is still seen as a second-class activity, meaning its issues are less respected than those in men’s sports. This attitude persists despite decades of research and advocacy to promote equality within female-only sport.
Furthermore, some women’s sports face significant financial barriers to participation due to school funding shortages. This can have an adverse effect on quality coaching, facilities, equipment and uniforms – particularly for disadvantaged girls who must choose between school and sports.
One way to solve the problem is by ensuring all sports receive equal recognition in sports media. This goal should be supported by sports marketing specialists and other stakeholders alike.
The Effects of Women’s Sports on Society
Girls and women who participate in sports tend to have higher self-esteem and confidence than those who don’t. They’re more likely to achieve good grades and graduate from high school, as well as engage in healthy behaviors such as dieting and exercising regularly.
Girls are particularly likely to engage in organized volunteer activities, such as mentoring other young people. These opportunities, which can be life-altering for some, help girls build a sense of community and hone their leadership abilities.
In some countries, such as Canada, the long-awaited gender equality in women’s sports is being expedited due to a new law called Title IX. This regulation ensures all public schools and universities have equal access to sports programs for both girls and boys alike.