In the lead up to Internationals Women’s Day, the 20×20 movement invited the people of Ireland to #ShowYourStripes for women in sport.
The 20×20 initiative seeks to shift Ireland’s cultural perception of women’s sport and pave the pathway of opportunity for future generations. Sport Irelands ‘Women in Sport’ Policy highlights the vision where all “women have an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential while enjoying a lifelong involvement in sport”.
Collectively, as a nation, everyone can contribute to achieving the 20×20 vision. That is, a 20% increase in female participation, a 20% increase in attendance at womens games and events and an increase of media coverage of women’s sport by 20% in 2020.
From athletes to coaches, administrators to teachers, journalists to sports fans, you can pledge to encourage participation, increase the visibility of female athletes, and ultimately create more opportunities for women in sport.
Internationals Women’s Day is not just a global celebration of women’s achievements. It can be a catalyst for change. A day to reflect on the evolution of women, a day to reflect on the evolution of women in sport and a day to remind ourselves of the work yet to completed.
I’m sure many female athletes can recall playing for their clubs underage boys teams, with no sign of girls team. Although the growth of women in sport has been slow to develop, today is an opportunity to honour the progress and movement for equality to date.
As the Barcelona Women’s football club tweeted “Football is not for girls. Nor for boys. Football is for footballers”.
In recognition of the growing promotion and coverage of women’s sport, over 5,000 tickets were sold for the Irish ladies battle against Greece in Tallaght stadium Thursday night.
Irish manager Vera Pauw reminds us the importance of support:
“We need the fans. I hope that everybody is coming because to get that support it pulls you through the difficulty moments in the game”.Vera Pauw
After being held by the Greeks last November, the girls in green redeemed themselves with a 1-0 win which was quickly followed up with a 3-0 win away to Montenegro a few days later.
Ireland remain unbeaten in their quest to qualify for Euros 2021. The 5,000 people that passed through the turnstiles for their last home game is a reminder of what a team can achieve with support in the stands.
Other supports outside of the fans are also critical. Let us continue to show our stripes and engage in the 20×20 movement. Let us pledge to accelerate the growth of women in sport.
IF SHE CAN’T SEE IT, SHE CAN’T BE IT