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Professional women’s sports is inspiring girls to follow their dreams

Ellyse Perry is one Australia's highest profile athletes. (Matt King/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
11th March, 2019
3

The meteoric rise in women’s sports has been one of the most exciting trends in the entire sporting industry in Australia.

Every prominent sporting code has now formed their own elite women’s competitions.

  • Australian Football League has introduced the AFL Women’s (AFLW) competition.
  • Cricket has its national women’s cricket team, the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
  • Football has its national women’s soccer team, the Matildas, and its W-League women’s competition.
  • Rugby league has its national women’s team, the Jillaroos; an annual women’s State of Origin match; and the newly formed NRL Women’s (NRLW) competition.
  • Rugby union has its national women’s team, the Wallaroos, and its newly formed women’s rugby union competition, Super W.
  • Netball has its national team, the Diamonds, and its highly popular National Netball League.
  • Basketball has its national team, the Opals, and the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL).
Katie Brennan

Katie Brennan of the Bulldogs AFLW team. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

And it’s not just the prominent team sports doing well – Australia is producing many top-calibre female athletes in individual sports like tennis, golf, surfing, mixed martial arts and many Olympic sports.

Women’s sports has grown and developed into the elite level whereby a large percentage of female athletes now compete full-time and are paid accordingly, with increased exposure through television, online streaming, media coverage and sponsorship. It’s driving the rise of high-profile female athletes and record levels of interest and support.

Superstars like Ellyse Perry, Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Bassett are among the most influential female athletes inspiring a generation of girls simply by showing their world-class talents and competitiveness.

With women’s sports at the elite level making unprecedented progress, the glass ceiling preventing women and girls taking up sports at grassroots levels, which included lack of girls teams and competitions to join, girls not being included in male-dominated teams and sports and limited pathways for women and girls to compete at the elite level, have been shattered.

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Although there’s still plenty of progress to be made at the elite level and grassroots level, girls are being inspired to follow their sporting dreams and are encouraged to have a go at whichever sport they love.

Sport is a very important part of Australia’s culture, and now that culture is being enriched by women and girls being encouraged not only to compete but also to succeed in traditionally male-dominated sports.