Women have been fighting for their rights and equality for a long time. One of the many things that women’s rights advocates have been promoting is equality in sports. Athletics is not just for men and boys anymore.
The National Youth Sports Strategy has compiled research that shows that sports can lead to many mental, emotional, social, and physical health benefits such as:
- Lower rates of anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse, risky behaviors, and suicide
- Higher rates of self-esteem, confidence, cognitive performance, creativity, life satisfaction, and well-being
- Reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity
- Improvements in bone health, cardiovascular fitness, muscle, and overall quality of life
- Teaching teamwork, social skills, responsibility, goal setting, time management, work ethic, empowerment, self-control, resilience, and leadership1
These benefits are not just for boys, girls benefit greatly from athletics also. The Women’s Sports Foundation advocates for girls and women who want to be involved in sports. Their website states, “We’re building a future where every girl and woman can play, be active, and realize her full potential. We’re building a movement of movement. Through research. Advocacy. Community impact. And partnerships. It’s time to transform the game so that every girl and woman can realize her power.”2
Another step in the right direction for women’s equality has recently taken place in the form of a women’s sports network. According to CNBC, the new Women’s Sports Network will be available through Amazon Freevee, Tubi, FuboTV, and smart TVs. The network has partnered up with the Women’s National Basketball Association, Ladies Professional Golf Association, and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard. According to a study, viewership of women’s sports has risen but women’s sports only get about 5% of sports media coverage.3
Angela Ruggiero, an athlete and an advisor of the network told CNBC, “It’s a significant step towards narrowing the gap in media coverage for female athletes, for female sports…There’s a pent-up demand for women’s sports, but women’s sports typically go under-invested, under-supported, under-viewed, because the ecosystem underneath it hasn’t really been built.”3
This new network is just one small step in the right direction for women’s equality. Encourage girls and women to try a sport that interests them. Consider becoming involved in women’s sports by participating, supporting, or coaching a sport that interests you.
- PCSFN Science Board Report on youth sports – health. (n.d.). Retrieved November 5, 2022
- Women’s Sports Foundation. (2022, May 5). Retrieved November 4, 2022
- Balasaygun, K. (2022, November 3). Women athletes now have their own sports network. CNBC. Retrieved November 4, 2022