It’s hot topic at the moment and it has certainly been at the forefront of a changing world this last decade. Women pushing for equality and hungry for their success to be acknowledged in the same way as a man. I truly admire all the fantastic work done by so many people around the world that now allow women to have opportunities in so many aspects of life. We have dared to dream, which many women have over the past hundreds of years, but the difference now is we can dare to believe in those dreams.
When thinking about what to write for this IWD, the inspiration side is something I relate to greatly with my career in sport. Over the last 5 years, I have been to visit so many schools and clubs around the country, giving back to the sport I love and hoping to one day inspire youngsters to become what they dream about. As a young girl from Oldham, I never in a million years thought I would play hockey for Great Britain, let alone achieve my wild dream of winning an Olympic gold medal, so for me the importance of young girls being ambitious, fearless and determined comes from the heart.
The fact that women’s sport has grown in popularity since London 2012 and is becoming more visible is a great step towards bridging the gap and helping girls to see the opportunities out there. More importantly it can provide them with a greater number of female role models to follow which is something I have embraced and I am proud to actively support. There are many ways in which I can engage in this; sometimes it is simply just sharing my journey to where I am now which can ignite their imagination and inspire them to have the confidence to also dream big. On the flip side, sometimes they have dreams but don’t know if they can achieve them. This is where I encourage them to believe that they can make it happen but also question why they don’t think they can, to learn what young girls believe are barriers to career success. The earlier they believe in the possibilities, the more desire and commitment they may have towards finding who or what they want to be when they are older and I love that moment where youngsters suddenly think of, what could be!
I guess for me, I am passionate about making all women feel empowered, to use their voice and worthy to stand proud and be who they want to be, but we all have a responsibility to shape the way young girls enter this changing world by engaging, encouraging and sharing our success and learning’s with them. I will continue to enjoy the work I do in schools and clubs around the country and even though sometimes I may not see the impact of this work, I take pride in knowing that I am part of a bigger movement of women aspiring for equality worldwide.
To all women and girls out there, dare to dream 🙂