I think it’s only now, as an adult, that I have found a true appreciation of sports. At school I never enjoyed it all that much because it didn’t feel free and fun and I knew we were all being “watched” by the teacher. Today, however, if you show me a field, I’ll show you a fabulous Rounders pitch and get a game going in less than 5 minutes! I love the feeling of running around and being like a child again!

And isn’t that why we do anything at all? Isn’t it all an effort to find joy, fun and freedom? Whether we are men or women, we all want to feel good. So what does it matter if it’s sports or cooking?

But I know we don’t live in an ideal world, and all things are not considered equal, so it seems for women there is still a bit of a struggle to break into what is considered to be a “man’s world.” That’s why when I read stories of young women making powerful marks in the sporting world, such as a 15 year old girl from North Yorkshire who is claimed to be Britain’s strongest woman, a weightlifter who regularly heaves a combined total of three times her own 69 kilogram body weight and is currently out lifting competitors 10 years her senior, I really pay attention!

But it is very promising to see that the UK is changing its attitudes towards women in sport. When I was interviewing former England cricketer, Isa Guha, we had professional boxer, Amir Khan, join the conversation. He was saying that when he first got into boxing, he didn’t believe it was any place for a woman. He was concerned about women being hurt or injured. But now he has seen many women becoming very powerful boxers and even said that at times, they could perform even better than the men!

I especially loved his focus on having the right attitude and mind set, and coupled with Isa’s emphasis on going for your dreams and not giving up, I felt like I was in a powerful coaching session that had me feeling invincible! They both also strongly agreed on one point – that being a woman need no longer be a limiting factor and that it was time to change the way we think about this. What they really meant was that we can no longer use being “women” as an excuse not to succeed!

And I must wholeheartedly agree with them. From my own personal experience, I have found that when we go for our hearts’ desires, and we are true to it, we will find so much support from those around us, even those who originally were questioning our sanity, or our gender! It’s no different in the world of sport.
Because ultimately their opposition is only reflecting back to us our own self-doubt. So transcending these gender stereotypes and inequalities really begins with us, not with the outside world. The moment you change how you feel, the world around you will respond to your new feeling.

It reminds me of a wonderful quote I read by an anonymous writer:

“The entire world is a looking-glass, so make sure you’re smiling.”