While it’s certainly true that all sports have been hard hit by a global health crisis the likes of which the modern world hasn’t yet seen, women’s sport has been made to deal with a particularly raw end of the deal. But surprisingly enough, it’s also women’s sport – and in particular women’s sport in New Zealand – that can be seen stepping up to the challenge of leading the way ahead of the rest of the world.
Barely 10 weeks back in play, the country’s winter codes have fully resumed play at club level. Also, several elite women’s competitions are either currently underway, or officially calendar booked. This, says Rachel Froggatt, CEO of Women in Sport Aotearoa, is what makes of New Zealand a “unique outlier” in global women’s sport.
Another interesting dynamic, and one according to Froggatt absolutely unique to New Zealand, is that men’s sport is purposefully creating a space in which women’s sport is able to recover, be restored, and even grow. What this means is that New Zealand’s sports women are now perfectly positioned to walk ahead of the rest of world and lead others in a spirit of leadership.
All eyes are already on New Zealand women’s sport as it is, continued Froggatt. This should come as no surprise, as a stunning total of three World Cups will be hosted in New Zealand over the coming three years. What’s more, the International Working Group on Women and Sport will be based in New Zealand until 2022. All of this positions the country in such a way that it’s now able to inspire others to champion their own way back to success by leading by example.
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