2022 was certainly an unforgettable year for British women’s sport, not only did a number of national sides see honours and successes like never before, it was also a year where audience sizes and the general support of women’s sport increased significantly, all across the country.
For many, this has been seen as a fantastic platform to build on as we press forward into 2023, potentially helping women’s sport to flourish even more. So with that, here we take a look at some of the major events happening with British women’s sport this year and the prospective further successes these may then bring to all involved.
A recap of some of 2022’s best moments
Before we consider what’s ahead of us, let’s look back at some of 2022’s highlights to remind ourselves of just how important and beneficial they’ve been for women’s sport.
• At the Winter Olympics in Feb 22 the GB women’s Curling Team won gold.
• At the European Championships in Aug 22 the GB women’s rowers won gold in the women’s fours and in the women’s quad sculls.
• At the Commonwealth Games the netball team got to the semi-finals.
• The England women’s rugby team finished runners up in the Rugby World Cup.
• The England women’s football team won the UEFA Women’s Championship in July.
All of these and more – but the latter in particular – proved to be a big catalyst for the UK government to put a review into the improvement in nationwide women’s sport. This has included more investment in grassroots development and supporting the financial sustainability of different sports. The results of which are expected soon and could be one of the most significant changes we see for women’s sport in 2023.
The year ahead
As this guide shows there’s still a wealth of exciting women’s sporting events to come, so much so some believe this could be the biggest and most impactful year ever. Moreover, many of the home nations are being touted as favourites, or have representatives who are at the top of their game. A few core examples include:
• The Women’s Six Nations – now in its second year (and now completely separate from the competition in men’s rugby union), attendances could break new records, and following their recent world cup heartbreak, England are firm favourites for victory.
• England vs Brazil – in the ‘Finalissima’ England’s European Championship winning Lionesses will take on 2022 Copa America Femenina winners Brazil in April. This will be two women’s sides at the tops of theirrespective games and is expected to draw a huge international audience.
• Netball World Cup – speaking of global events, this major event in South Africa will include England, Scotland and Wales and is sure to drum up more interest and viewership than ever. Find out how big is a netball court at All Weather Pitch’s website.
The future benefits
As mentioned, audiences of women’s sporting events grew to their highest ever numbers in 2022, with the WST claiming they had ‘doubled’ YoY, plus viewing across all programming is said to have gone up by 188%. As such, with 2023’s huge calendar of events, many expect this trend will continue to rise even more this year – and in turn bring about a wealth of benefits for fans and athletes.
Simply put, the greater the visibility and exposure British women’s sport gets now, the more revenue and popularity it will gain – but more importantly the more likely it is that it will inspire the next generation of women’s sports stars. The desire for women’s sport in the UK is undeniably there, the hope is that the rest of 2023 takes it to the next level.