How about a round of applause for women’s sport in Australia? What a week it’s been!
You certainly won’t see all of these stories covering front and back pages of metropolitan newspapers, nor will they be the first story you see in the nightly news bulletins, however the achievements of Australia’s best female athletes this week have been stunning and ought to be recognised appropriately.
The Australian women’s cricket team have been able to do what their male counterparts haven’t been – beating the English on their own soil. While the Australian men’s team has lost three of the four Test Matches played thus far, the women have won three of four games (two of three One-Day Matches and the only Test Match). With three Twenty20 Matches remaining later in the tour, the Aussies need to win just one of the three to secure The Ashes.
The Australian women’s basketball team has also had some success in the past few days and will be heading to a sixth-straight Olympic Games campaign, after beating New Zealand in both games of their Oceania qualifying series. In game one, the Opals won 61-41, while in game two, they won 80-63. Having now qualified for the Games, many are expecting the current squad to progress deep into the competition, hopefully snagging a medal.
The Australian netball team, the Diamonds, have won the Netball World Cup following a thrilling 58-55 victory over New Zealand in Sunday’s final. It was the girls’ third consecutive world title and their eleventh overall. To prove how popular the game was, it was played in front of 16,752 fans – the most ever to watch a netball game.
Finally, while many of the AFL’s men were embroiled in sagas relating to biting, striking, booing and anti-doping investigations, the women stole the show on the weekend with the first live broadcast of a women’s AFL game occurring – and it was a huge ratings success. The game between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs was so successful in fact that it drew an average audience in Melbourne of 175,000 people. This is a significantly higher figure than the 114,000 people who watched the men in Adelaide’s 112-point thrashing of Essendon a day prior.
All in all, it’s been a very impressive week of sport for Australia’s women as they continue to build upon the recent success of female athletes in this country. Between the successes noted above, as well as that on the hockey field, in the swimming pool and on the athletics track, it truly is a golden age for women’s sport in Australia and this needs to be embraced by fans and the mainstream media alike.
Tell us below who your favourite Australian female athlete is and why.