At Boobuddy, we’re all about women empowerment and today marks the day that we all come together to celebrate the strength and power and to join forces to encourage positive change for women all over the world. International Women’s Day has been celebrating women all over the world for over 100 years and this year, we’re looking back on all the strong women in sport who have proved time and time again that we are equal to our male counterparts.
The past year was a big year for women everywhere, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements making a massive impact on inappropriate actions and instances in the workplace. Looking forward to 2018 and beyond, there’s still a long way to go, but women like these sports stars and the women speaking out are leading the way for equality everywhere, starting with International Women’s Day.
Steph Houghton has been a solid fixture on the England football team for nearly ten years after beginning her national career in the under-19 team. Before that, she played for some big teams in English football and even won the FA Young Player of the Year after she helped Sunderland be promoted.
She now heads up the national team as captain and has done since 2014, while also leading Manchester City’s women’s team. She even played in the first Great Britain women’s side in the 2012 Summer Olympics and scored in all three group games to help Team GB win the group.
She’s a treasured example in a sport that is so dominated by men and so universally adored by men. Steph Houghton is one of football’s greats, proving that kicking like a girl is never a bad thing.
Another hero from Olympics gone by, Jackie Joyner-Kersee set the benchmark for heptathlon athletes and is someone many track and field athlete aspire to emulate. After getting more gold medals than we can count, she went on to sit on the Board of Directors of USA Track and Field, the national governing body of the sport.
But Jackie-Joyner-Kersee isn’t only a star on the field, she is an active philanthropist in education, racial equality and women’s rights and has created her own foundation to encourage young people in the low income USA town of East St. Louis.
She’s also previously partnered with American communications company Comcast to create a program that provided affordable laptops and high speed internet for low income Americans. Since its creation in 2011, the service has provided internet to more than 4 million people.
Another incredible athlete from Great Britain, Jessica Ennis-Hill stole hearts as the track and field athlete in the 2012 London Olympics. Finishing with a gold for her outstanding performance in the Heptathlon, Ennis-Hill went on to become the (rightfully-deserved) poster-girl for women in athletics in the UK.
With an impressive resume on the track and field and an admirable quality of standing up for what she believes in, she’s an accessible female superstar that keeps on giving.
In the past 15 years, Serena Williams has been crowned the world number one in tennis on eight separate occasions, cementing her as one of, if not THE, best tennis player of all time.
She holds 23 Grand Slam singles titles and holds the record for the most wins in the Open Era and has even beaten her older sister Venus Williams in 17 matches.
Off the court, Williams has publicly voiced her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and has stood up to insensitive comments made by a fellow tennis player regarding the LGBT community.
Somewhat unbelievably, she was the first black female athlete to have a solo portrait on the cover of Vogue in 2015, paving the way for sportswomen of colour everywhere.
Williams’ charity, the Serena Williams Foundation, has built schools in Kenya and Jamaica and provided scholarships for underprivileged students, while Serena herself has won a host of awards for her charitable work in breast cancer and her work with at-risk youths. She’s a star on and off the pitch and is one of the best sporting role models for young girls to look up to this International Women’s Day
Stepping even further back in time, we look back on Sonja Henie’s time in the spotlight as a figure skater for Norway. Winning more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies figure skater of the time and becoming a trailblazer for strong women in a time where there was less equality than we have today.
Henie is also credit as being the first figure skater to adopt the standard outfit we traditionally picture figure skaters with short skirts and white boots, as well as pioneering dance moves in figure skating. Her actions transformed the sport forever and made sure it was recognised as a legitimate sport in the Winter Olympics.
Representing the UK’s fierce and strong women this International Women’s Day, is the record-breaking and strong Nicola Adams. The professional boxer was the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title in 2012 as well as being the first woman boxer EVER to represent England, when she fought against an Irish Boxer.
Not only is she the queen of the ring, during her 2012 reign, she was crowned as one of the most influential LGBT people in Britain by The Independent.
Nadia Comaneci’s gymnastics resume is something to be marvelled at. The Romanian athlete was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the Olympic Games was impressive enough, but she then went on to receive six more at the same games when she competed in Montreal in 1976.
She is now one of the world’s best-known gymnasts and was a big part in helping the sport become popular around the world. Her personal life helps to cement her position as a woman of strength, after being watched with a close eye by the government in her native Romania, she defected from her homeland, just a few weeks before the Romanian Revolution. The journey was hard and full of danger, traversing Europe on foot through Hungary and Austria before beginning her life in America.
She came out the other side stronger and went on to be a member of the International Gymnastics Federation Foundation as well as owning a gymnastics academy with her husband and fellow gold medallist, Bart Conner.
International Women’s Day and Sport
All over the world, gains are slowly being made in the coverage and respect for women’s sporting events, traditionally cast aside as a lesser version of whatever men are doing, women in sports are steadily gaining traction to be celebrated the way they should be.
This year’s theme of #PressforProgress encourages all women and men to push for progress in gender equality and women in sports is no different. International Women’s Day is calling for more value on women’s sporting contributions and participation, and not for them to be treated as a second thought after the men’s sporting events and successes.
International Women’s Day and Boobuddy
Boobuddy is designed especially for women. While women and men should be treated equally in sport, there’s no denying that our bodies are a little different in certain ways!
Be the best you can be and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t just because you’re a woman. Champion your sport with a Boobuddy in place to keep your assets protected and to keep you slaying the game.
We got this, girls!