Sport as an act, plays an active and a powerful role in the life of an athlete and sport lovers. Taking part in sporting activities can have a number of positive life-saving effect in promoting health and fitness, improves self -esteem, teaches leadership skills, enhances team working skills and perseverance. It helps to stimulate one’s mental awareness, as well as promote development of social skills.
The participation of women in sport remains somewhat lopsided when compared to men, but you can agree that consistent participation of women in sport has had major impact on achieving gender equality goals.
Sport has the ability to transcend boundaries of race, age, religion, sex and nationality. The role of women in sport has thus encouraged gender equality at all levels. Women in sport resist gender stereotype, proving men and women as equal as well as becoming an inspiring model.
Women in sport have been able to defy the misconception that they are weak and incapable each time they kick a ball, clear a hurdle or win a race. By demonstrating their physical strength and leadership skill; they take a step towards gender equality.
The visibility of women in sport is now more than it has been in history. The first games in which women competed in every sport of the Olympics games was in London 2012. Whereas, in Paris at the 1900 Games, a total of 997 athletes, only 22 women competed in five sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism and golf, for the first time.
Looking at the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Marry Onyali, Chioma Ajunwa, Rasheedat Ajibade, Serena Williams, Asisat Oshoala, Maria Sharapova, etc, one can say women in sport have been able to set the road map to closing the gender gap.
At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, hosted in South Korea from February 9 – 25, the remarkable achievements, persistence and unmatched potential of the women who represented their countries, was a heartwarming sight to behold.
However, the space gap between women and men in sport is fast being bridged as the ‘war of the sexes’ continues.