As we continue to highlight some of the top moments in women’s sport this year, we’d like to turn the focus to the England women’s sides that have inspired a whole nation.
First off, we have the Lionesses who earlier this summer won the UEFA Women’s Euros. They had impressed leading up to the tournament, with performances such as the 10-0 win against North Macedonia in the World Cup Qualifiers in April 2022. They then went unbeaten through the Euros and only conceded 2 goals throughout the whole tournament, beating strong sides like Sweden and Germany to bring football home.
The Lionesses made history with their win, as England became European Champions for the first time and inspired a nation full of young girls and women. Following the success of Sarina Wiegman’s side, they wrote an open letter to the prime minister asking to provide better opportunities for young girls to play football in school. At the time, only 63% of girls in the country could play football in PE lessons.
In October, the Rugby World Cup kicked off in New Zealand, where the Red Roses looked to make their own history by bringing home the gold. They had been unbeaten in international test matches for three years leading up to the tournament. The side, full of world class players and inspirational role models, beat the world record of consecutive wins in international rugby union matches. As they beat Canada in a tight semi-final, they got their 30th consecutive win.
The Red Roses faced the home side Black Ferns in a sold out final at Eden Park, breaking the women’s rugby attendance record. The final became one of the most competitive matches in the tournament, as the home side won narrowly against the Red Roses. The Red Roses might not have gotten the results they had aimed for, but still impressed hugely throughout the tournament and the years leading up to it. Their performances and actions on and off the pitch also inspired a whole nation, encouraging young girls around the world to pick up a rugby ball.
Their performances and fight for women in sports have sparked hope, motivation and a will to change the narrative around female sport. As we move into 2023, we hope to see even more teams lead the way for girls and women in sport.
What women’s teams have inspired you the most this year? Head over to our Instagram and let us know your top female sporting moments of 2022 in a comment or DM!"