Clearing the hurdles: why we’re keeping the spotlight on women’s sport

Women’s sport has been reaching new audiences in recent months. Now, we want to maintain that momentum beyond the big moments

Eight years ago, when I was sports news correspondent for this newspaper, I found myself hastily dispatched to Helskini to speak to England’s women footballers. They had reached the final of Euro 2009 and, a successful England team being a welcome novelty, we wrote of the hope that their success would change perceptions of women’s sport in this country.

Similar predictions were made after Heather Stanning and Helen Glover took Britain’s first gold during that shimmering London 2012 summer, when the Lionesses came third in the 2015 World Cup in Canada, or after nine million people watched Britain’s heart-stopping hockey victory to win gold in Rio. Yet change remained incremental rather than incredible.

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