With the growth of women’s sports comes more coverage to satisfy audience demands. But still, it is an abnormality to see women sports stars on the punditry panel, commentary team or on the pitch as part of the officials. So the question is why are more not being asked?
Normalising women in sport can have a huge impact on the younger demographic. Both male and female.
One break out star who is making waves is Alex Scott. Making history, Scott was the first woman pundit on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday. This comes off the back of covering the World Cup in Russia for the BBC. Since ending her playing career at the end of the last season, which saw the former England and Arsenal star clock up 140 caps for the Lionesses, five Women’s Premier League titles, seven Women’s FA Cups and the Women’s Champions League, Alex Scott has made a clear transition off the pitch to commenting on the action on it.
Her appearance on the screen went down well with all football fans. Scott was applauded on social media for her work, knowledge and keen tactical eye which allowed her to make some stand-out judgement when examining the play.
The Impact of seeing more women sports stars on the screen
The government, governing bodies, broadcasters and sponsors have all recognised the need for better funding and coverage of women’s sport. Huge strides have been made over the past few years which have seen certain sports numbers grow substantially.
The problem is, this often comes off the back of an event where a team has done well and as result received the coverage it deserves. A perfect example of this is Ireland’s Women’s Hockey team.
After finding themselves in the final of the Hockey World Cup in London, Ireland’s women return home to rapturous applause. With this came the announcement from Ireland’s sports minister that Irish sports will be receiving an extra one million pound to go towards development and new equipment. It was also announced that women’s hockey will receive a substantial amount of this.
But why did it take a good performance to bring about these developments? Funding has been lacking for many years. This causes huge problems for the viability of leagues and clubs. It’s important that sponsors and broadcasters look at women’s sports realistically. They shouldn’t expect the return of there male compatriots due to the leagues still being in the growth stage but more often than not early adopters are seeing the advantages of investing in a market which has a huge opportunity for growth.