Why women’s sport is to reach even greater heights in 2018

Alex Danson tells us why women’s sport is to reach even greater heights in 2018. 

2017 has been an unbelievable year for the profile of female athletes and I am so privileged to be involved, and excited by the prospect of women’s sport reaching even greater heights in 2018. 

This was evident as millions of people watched England’s footballers, the Lionesses, reach the semi-final of the European Championships. Likewise, a packed-out Lords was treated to a home World Cup win as the cricket team emerged victorious in front of a global audience of c.100m, and finally we were treated to an epic Rugby World Cup Final as New Zealand narrowly beat England.

This amount of exposure for female athletes is fantastic and women’s sport has come such a long way in a short amount of time, but there still is a long way to go and the summer of 2017 cannot be a one-off just because there was no major men’s football tournament this summer.

2018 brings many opportunities for me and the England Hockey Team and I can’t wait to lead the team out as captain at our own home Hockey World Cup next summer if I’m selected. Winning an Olympic gold medal was the proudest moment of my career and it’s amazing that success has created so much of a buzz that over 100,000 people applied for tickets for the World Cup.

Alex Danson in action

More chances for huge audiences to watch women’s sport will be both the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. Again, if selected, I’ll be competing at the latter and after picking up two bronzes and a silver in the last three games, we really want to get our hands on the gold!

Having two major tournaments in the same year means a lot of training and preparation but it’s something that I enjoy and embrace the challenge. The Commonwealth Games could see us potentially play six games in as little as ten days and as well as making sure we put the physical work in, we need to make the most of our limited recovery time by getting our nutrition right. The other teams in the competition are training just as hard as you are, so gaining any advantage you can from fuelling your body correctly is incredibly important.

2018 is going to be a busy year but hopefully a great one, and I can’t wait for England Hockey to play their part in continuing the amazing journey that women’s sport is currently enjoying.