To mark International Women’s Day 2019 we salute all those who are contributing to the exponential development and growth of women and girls sport.

KUDOS in Women’s Sport

We’re proud that a significant amount of the kit that we supply goes to women. Netball, hockey, archery, football, cricket, athletics and running, gymnastics and tennis are just some of the sports that sees clubs around the UK – and overseas – partnering with KUDOS and women playing sport on a regular basis.

Despite the undeniable progress made in the long and bumpy road to equality in sport, there are still obstacles and, crucially, prejudices to overcome. In seeking to overcome those clichés and stereotypes that certain sports are “a man’s game” or “not for girls”, KUDOS takes great pleasure in shining a light on the women who are directly challenging those frankly rubbish preconceptions by participating in and loving sport.

The Lionesses Conquering the World

Just this week, England’s women’s football team – aka the Lionesses – lifted the SheBelieves trophy for the first time, beating Japan 3-0 in the final after having already beaten Brazil and drawing with world champions USA. This summer the women’s World Cup takes place in France, where Phil Neville’s super-talented outfit will be one of the favourites to lift the trophy.

The SheBelieves triumph was another significant step forward for women’s football in this country, which is growing at a healthy rate knots. Schemes like Grow the Game are helping to provide opportunities that simply have not been there in years gone by, and participation – particularly among young girls – is hugely up in recent years. Anyone who has kids involved at junior football clubs can’t have failed to notice the ever-increasing numbers of girls coming along to play. It is a joy to witness.

A good example of such growth is Carnmoney Ladies FC in Northern Ireland, with whom we are proud to be linked. Formed in August 2011, the all-female club has grown sufficiently to sustain teams at all age groups from under 7s right through to under 19s – plus a successful senior team and a recently-formed over 30s team.

England’s women hitting cricket for six

Women’s cricket is another sport in which great strides are being made. A sport that, frankly, once held woefully archaic views about women – so triumphantly overcome by Rachael Heyhoe-Flint – cricket has been taken by storm by England’s women, who have just clinched a memorable T20 series win in India and, of course, became world champions at Lord’s in 2017.

The ICC said the global television audience for World Cup group stage matches reached 50m viewers — 80 per cent higher than the last tournament four years ago – while the final at Lord’s was a sell-out. That final, between England and India, was watched by a record 1.1 million people in the UK on Sky Sports — the highest TV viewing figures in the country for any women’s cricket match and a larger audience than the average audience for Premier League match.

Topping that, even, was last year’s Women’s Hockey World Cup in London, which sold over 80,000 tickets, shattering previous records and beating the 79,000 tickets sold for the Women’s Cricket World Cup.

In rugby union, England stand on the brink of winning the Women’s Six Nations, and will play in front of a record crowd for a non-World Cup match, doubling the previous record, against Italy at Exeter’s Sandy Park.

And in netball, a 44% increase in participation at grassroots level in 2017 is just one aspect of growth for a sport that is thriving despite continued Olympic exclusion.

Playing Sport ‘Like a Girl’?

But despite all of that progress, there is more still to be done – and KUDOS is eager to look ahead, to partner with even more women’s teams and clubs. Meanwhile, we salute those inspirational women and girls around the world who are truly redefining that old chestnut about what playing sport ‘like a girl’ really means. Happy International Women’s Day 2019!

KUDOS SPORTS – A LEADING SUPPLIER OF CUSTOM TEAMWEAR

KUDOS supplies made-to-order teamwear to a range of sports clubs across the globe. We supply bespoke custom kit that is built for performance and worn with pride. Use our one minute kit designer to design your kit today.

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