These iconic female athletes are ready to ‘fight for the future of girls in sport’

first_img‘It’s about loving what you do and really finding joy in it’ (Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)‘You don’t even have to become anything with it, it’s not always about that. It’s about loving what you do and really finding joy in it. And if you have that – you can’t really ask for anything more.Bianca thinks it’s crucial to invest in sport at a grassroots level. She says sport, first and foremost needs to be about enrichment and enjoyment – every success story starts with that.‘Most things are built from a good foundation,’ she explains. ‘And I think it is the grassroots involvement that does help more people to get involved and grow people’s love for sport.’MORE: Anthony Joshua tells Deontay Wilder to get in touch if he’s serious about unification fightMORE: Arsenal board not interested in hiring Carlo Ancelotti as head coach ‘If I said I wanted to be a professional climber – people would just laugh at me’ (Picture: Toru Hanai/Getty Images)‘The more sports we can talk about in the mainstream, and the more different sporting stories we can show to the world, hopefully more people will find something that they’re passionate about, that they love. And they will realise there is a pathway and it is possible.’Bianca Walkden won bronze at the 2016 Olympics and is a is a triple World champion – but she says she still faced prejudice and disapproval at the start of her career because Taekwondo was perceived to be a ‘male sport’.‘At the end of the day, I’m beating people up and fighting. It’s definitely seen as a more “masculine” thing to do – and I think it’s that kind of perception that can put women off,’ Bianca tells‘Getting into sport and making it your profession is a hard thing to – especially in a male dominated sport like mine. But if we can help young girls to find what they love in it – that’s the best place to start. These iconic female athletes are ready to ‘fight for the future of girls in sport’ The icons came together at the adidas Future of Sport event in London (Picture: adidas Future of Sport)Women’s sport has continued to skyrocket in popularity over the last decade – and public enthusiasm is showing no signs of dwindling.This summer we saw record viewing figures for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, sell-out crowds at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, and our home-grown female athletes have got used to standing on podiums – Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson are both in the running for BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year.These women have the momentum; they have more media coverage, more hours on TV, more household names in their respective sports than ever before. But there is still work to be done.AdvertisementAdvertisementDespite the positive steps forward, there is pervasive gender inequality in the world of sport around the globe. Equal pay is a battle being fought on every sporting frontier, and female athletes are still pushing for better marketing, corporate investment and sponsorship deals.ADVERTISEMENTJessica Ennis-Hill was the golden girl of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and she stepped into the limelight when women’s sport was just beginning to permeate mainstream consciousness.The adidas ambassador says it’s vital the conversation moves on from vague ideas about legacy. and focuses on the next generation. Jessica thinks the future of women’s sport lies with young girls – and the importance of making sport a realistic option for them.‘Lots of young girls want to get involved in sport, but then they get to an age – when they’re teenagers – and there are so many different variables and things that happen in their lives that can change their priorities,’ Jessica tells‘It’s about connecting with girls at that time in their lives, and really gripping them and getting them hooked in such a fantastic way that they can see a future within sport. Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img ‘I want to fight for those little girls’ (Picture: Kate McShane/Getty Images)‘The main focus we have right now is to push on and make the situation better for the girls, so they’re actually able to focus on their sports – that’s what all the little girls want.‘When I play, I see girls in the crowd wearing little T-shirts with “Miedema” on the back and that really does something to me. I want to fight for those little girls, I want to fight for their future. I want them to have a better situation than what we have right now.’Vivianne says she’s still has to wrap her head around the crowds, the noise, the fans – every time she steps on to the pitch.‘I’m not used to it myself yet,’ she says. ‘We go and play in a stadium and we look out and there are 10,000 people standing there wearing shirts with our names on the back. That is something so special.‘It just makes you want to like want to fight for your sport so much. Especially for the young girls coming through. I want to be able to make sport as good as possible for them.’AdvertisementShauna Coxsey is Britain’s most successful climber. She won the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in 2016 and 2017.‘My sport, it used to be so male dominated, especially when I started over 20 years ago, which is kind of scary,’ says Shauna.‘When I started out in climbing, If I said I wanted to be a professional climber – people would just laugh at me. It just wasn’t a thing.‘No one before me has ever been a professional competitive climber. So to be able to sit here now and talk about that, and realise that dream, it is such an honor.’Shauna’s journey wasn’t easy. To be a pioneering figure in a sport that has historically had such little female involvement – that was never going to be a smooth road. But she wants to give the next generation of female climbers a foothold. Comment Natalie MorrisThursday 12 Dec 2019 12:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link ‘Young girls can be inspired by what other women in sport have achieved’ (Picture: Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images)‘Not even just seeing it as a hobby, they have to be able to see a clear pathway to being successful and making it a career.’We’re meeting at the launch of the new flagship adidas store on Oxford Street. Decked out head-to-toe in branded gear, the former athletics star tells us that the support and funding from big brands has been a crucial factor in her success.She’s flanked by an intimidatingly impressive bunch of co-ambassadors; Taekwondo star Bianca Walkden, climber Shauna Coxsey and Arsenal footballer Vivianne Miedema.‘Young girls can be inspired by what other women in sport have achieved – what the women sitting here with me have achieved,’ says Jessica.‘It goes back to the storytelling. People like us telling the story of where we started and the real journey of what it took to get us to where we are today.’Vivianne agrees. The Dutch national footballer says she can’t believe how far the women’s game has come since she started out.‘When I started playing football, I was like the tomboy – I was very much one of the boys,’ she tells‘But now, we have this platform where you can really be part of the women’s sports movement. We’re lucky with football, it’s massive around the world. We’ve got men’s football and everyone knows what the sport is, but we obviously have still had to build up the national women’s team to the level it’s at now.’Vivianne explains that many of her teammates are in 40-hour-a-week jobs – working nine-five before training every single evening. She wants being an athlete to be less gruelling for the next generation.last_img read more

Blurred lines: Sophomore linemen bring unique athletic backgrounds to Syracuse offense

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CORRECTIONS: In a previous version of this article, the date and location of the summer football practice in 2011 was misstated. The practice occurred on Aug. 5, 2011 in the Carrier Dome. The Daily Orange regrets these errors.Freshmen Nick Robinson, Ivan Foy and Rob Trudo lined up on one end of the Carrier Dome football field, feeling the tail end of their first summer practice as members of the Syracuse football team.The temperature peaked at 93 degrees with humidity on Aug. 5, 2011, and Robinson remembers thinking the session was over after the offensive linemen completed a rigorous set of manual squats.The linemen were issued to run three 400-yard stretches — up the field and back twice with two minutes break in between. Robinson only made it 30 yards.“I’ll always remember that,” Robinson said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe wasn’t alone in the struggle. Foy and Trudo laughed about the practice looking back on it, but there’s no question — they were all out of shape. That’s where the transformation began.Against Wagner on Saturday, Syracuse rushed for a season-high 236 yards complete with two rushing touchdowns, the first opened up by a pulling Robinson block.The three are now sophomores, starting on the Orange line. Plugging in the holes around proven senior center Macky MacPherson and junior left tackle Sean Hickey, the second-year linemen Robinson, Foy and Trudo have made names for themselves with their athleticism, as well as their unique backgrounds. Robinson had been almost exclusively a run blocker while at nearby Baldwinsville High School. Foy can do a backflip — with a couple of feet of clearance. And Trudo was recruited by Penn State for volleyball.“They like being athletes, they don’t want to be Clydesdales,” said Will Hicks, SU assistant athletics director for athletic performance. “They don’t want to be three yards and a cloud of dust. They like the movement skills, and those are the things that they’re good at.”***‘The Road Raider’When Robinson came to Syracuse, he arrived as a right tackle almost exclusively used for power running. That’s just what Baldwinsville head coach Carl Sanfilippo does.“His nickname is ‘The Road Raider,’” Hickey said.Hickey remembers coaches raving about his conditioning and speed during the recruiting process. But when he arrived at training camp, he’d clearly put on weight.That’s because the 6-foot-5, 297-pound Robinson was coming off a bout with mononucleosis that forced him to miss the final game of his senior year.Coming into camp, he knew he was already a little behind.“I wasn’t athletic enough, I wasn’t strong enough and coming in I had to lose some weight,” Robinson said.After playing nine games primarily on special teams as a redshirt freshman, Robinson gradually grew into the heavy-handed, bull-strong right guard who paved the way for Jerome Smith’s 2-yard touchdown run against the Seahawks on Saturday.“Nick’s come so far in his conditioning,” Foy said. “He got his weight up, because when we first got here we were in no shape or form ready to play. Me, Nick and Rob got our weight right, got our conditioning right and got ready to play.”Flippin’ greatFoy remembers jumping on his mother’s bed as a child. That’s when he first began to experiment with rolling and flipping around.But it wasn’t until he saw a cousin do a backflip, that the now 6-foot-4, 313-pound right tackle decided he should give it a shot.He’s landed it once perfectly on grass, but sticks to pools for risk of landing on his neck or knees.Still, MacPherson said he’s never heard of an offensive lineman capable of the feat, and Hicks barely flinched when he learned the news.“He’s very light on his feet for a big guy, you don’t even hear him hit the ground,” Hicks said. “He’s more of a big skilled guy.”Foy made four starts at right guard last season, but felt his lack of conditioning in the second halves of games. His first start against Northwestern was particularly bad.“After a while, I couldn’t keep up with Macky and (Zack) Chibane and them,” Foy said.This summer, he took to the weight-loss approach. While Foy joked that Hickey’s straight chicken breast and brown rice combination wasn’t exactly attainable, he still dropped 10 pounds and feels the difference already this season.“I just stuck with the coach Hicks regimen, did a lot of running, tried to keep up with the people I shouldn’t be keeping up with and it paid off,” Foy said. “I can say I’m one of the fastest o-lineman, maybe the third or fourth.”Net gainFor a collegiate lineman to play volleyball in high school is rare, but for one to be recruited by a Division I program is even rarer.Trudo grew from a setter to middle and outside hitter, and began to get noticed at Penn State’s annual high school camp. A Nittany Lions All-American junior outside hitter pulled Trudo aside during his second camp for some pointers and individual teaching.“That was when I really had a great performance,” Trudo said.While the option of being able to play college volleyball was comforting, Trudo said he never seriously considered it. Once the head coach was fired in the middle of his junior year, Trudo quit the sport to focus on football.However, Trudo said his volleyball experience pays off in lateral quickness, agility and timing.Trudo has showed that lateral quickness through this training camp and into the season. Cutting has been a huge point of emphasis for offensive line coach Pat Perles, and Trudo said there’s no better feeling than mowing down a linebacker.Take Penn State linebacker Mike Hull, for example. Trudo broke through to the second level on an outside-zone read play in SU’s season opener and took him down. Hull had to leave the game and get a knee brace put on in the locker room, Trudo said.“Rob’s going to try to go out and knock you out, like a bull fighter,” Hickey said. “He just loves to go for the knockouts. He thinks so much about going out and killing the other person.”And he has the strength to do it. Hicks said Trudo is the second-best bench presser on the team behind Hickey. Trudo maxes around 485 pounds and can rep 225 36 times, Hicks said.“Trudo’s like a bull in the china shop,” Hicks said. “Everything’s high speed with Trudy.”***The three sophomores agreed that they’re getting more comfortable with the outside-zone read — a series of plays that is getting called more this season. Trudo and Hickey are still mastering the timing of pulling and helping, but the difference between now and camp is unmistakable.And once these guys are able to get out in space and put their hands on opposing linebackers, the SU running backs are lengthening their gains. The Wagner game was a perfect example of that as the Orange averaged 4.9 yards per carry.“You are right when you say that we’re athletic,” Foy said. “I know as all three of us as a group, we are all intense, are all physical and are all ready to just pound somebody out, just hit them in the mouth.” Comments Published on September 19, 2013 at 1:06 am Contact Stephen: | @Stephen_Bailey1last_img read more

Baseball preview: National League Central 2015 team-by-team capsules

first_imgBullpen: Jordan Walden, Matt Belisle, Kyle Siegrist, Seth Maness, Randy Choate, Sam Freeman, Carlos Villanueva .Closer: Trevor Rosenthal.Lineup:1B Matt Adams2B Kolten WongSS Jhonny Peralta3B Matt CarpenterLF Matt HollidayCF Jon JayRF Jason HeywardC Yadier MolinaBench: OF Randal Grichuk, 1B Mark Reynolds, INF Peter Kozma, OF Peter Bourjos, C Tony Cruz.DL: LHP Jaime Garcia. Fun Fact: Cardinals have not had a losing month since June of 2012.Fun Fact II: Of the 10 N.L. closers who had 30-plus saves, Rosenthal’s WHP of 1.408 was by far the worst.Best Case: Wacha pitches like it’s 2013.Worst Case: Fans expect too much of Heyward.Forecast: First. The gold standard for N.L. consistency.• MORE BASEBALL PREVIEW: 2015 MLB pre-season predictionsPITTSBURGH PIRATES2014 Record: 88-74Rank in Runs Scored: FourthRuns Allowed: SeventhManager: Clint HurdleRotation: Francisco Liriano A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke.Bullpen: Tony Watson, Jered Hughes, Vance Worley, Antonio Bastardo, Stolmy Pimentel, Radhames Liz.Closer: Mark Melancon.Lineup:1B Pedro Alvarez2B Neil WalkerSS Jordy Mercer3B Josh HarrisonLF Sterling MarteCF Andrew McCutchenRF Gregory PolancoC Francisco CervelliBench: OF Corey Hart, INF Jung Ho Kang, INF Sean Rodriguez, C Chris Stewart, OF Andrew Lambo.DL: RHP Brandon Cumpton.Fun Fact: Alvarez played in 30 fewer games than in 2013 and hit half as many homers (376 to 18).Fun Fact II: Harrison played at least 17 games at five different positions.Best Case: Burnett can fill a rotation hole.Worst Case: Departed catcher Russell Martin isn’t replaced.Forecast: Third. The rotation is a little thin to envision playoffs.CHICAGO CUBS2014 Record: 73-89Rank In Runs Scored: 12thRuns Allowed: 13thManager: Joe MaddonRotation: Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Travis Wood, Kyle Hendricks.Bullpen: Jason Motte, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm, Phil Coke, Edwin Jackson.Closer: Hector Rondon.Lineup:1B Anthony Rizzo2B Javier BaezSS Starlin Castro3B Mike OltLF Chris CoghlanCF Dexter FowlerRF Jorge SolerC Miguel MonteroBench: OF Chris Denorfia, 3B Tommy La Stella, INF Arismendy Alcantara, OF Ryan Sweeney, OF Matt Czczur, C David Ross, C Wellington Castillo,DL: None.Fun Fact: Rizzo was second in N.L. homers, third in OPS, third in slugging.Fun Fact II: Baez and Alcantara struck out 188 times in 529 plate appearances.Best Case: Kris Bryant comes up April 20 or so, wins Rookie of the Year.Worst Case: Physical problems in spring hold back Lester.Forecast. Second. Their pitching gets them to the playoffs. Then let the hype begin.CINCINNATI REDS2014 Record: 76-86 Rank in Runs Scored: 13thRuns Allowed: 11thManager: Bryan PriceRotation: Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Anthony DeSclafani, Jason Marquis, Rasiel Iglesias.Bullpen: Jumbo Diaz, Manny Parra, Blake Badenhiop, Tony Cingrani, J.J. Hoover, Kevin Gregg.Closer: Aroldis Chapman.Lineup:1B Joey Votto2B Brandon PhillipsSs Zack Cozart3B Todd FrazierLF Marlon ByrdCF Billy HamiltonRF Jay BruceC Devin MesoracoBench: INF Kris Negron, C Brayan Pena, OF Skip Schumaker, OF Brennan Bosch, INF Chris Dominguez.DL: RHP Homer Bailey, OF Jason Bourgeois.Fun Fact: Mesaroco had 16 homers in 175 games before last year, when he hit 25 in 114.Fun Fact II: In 54 appearances Chapman gave up more walks (24) than hits (21)Best Case: Votto, Phillips and Bruce somehow remember how to produce.Worst Case: Something happens to 20-game winner CuetoForecast: Fifth. Dusty Baker probably wasn’t the problem here.MILWAUKEE BREWERS2014 Record: 82-80Rank In Runs Scored: SixthRuns Allowed: SixthManager: Ron RoenickeRotation: Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Wily Peralta, Michael Fiers, Jimmy Nelson.Bullpen: Jonathan Broxton, Will Smith, Neal Cotts, Jim Henderson, Jeremy Jeffress, Brandon Kintzler, Tyler Thornburg.Closer: Francisco Rodriguez.Lineup:1B Adam Lind2B Scooter GennettSS Jean Segura3B Aramis RamirezLF Khris DavisCF Carlos GomezRF Ryan BraunC Jonathan LucroyDL: None.Bench: INF Luis Jimenez, INF Luis Sardinas, OF Gerardo Parra, INF Hector Gomez, OF Logan Schafer, C Martin Maldonado.Fun Fact: Peralta, who went 17-11, got 36 runs in five May starts, all wins.Fun Fact II: Half of Davis’ 122 hits were extra-base hits, best ratio in the league.Best Case: Rodriguez has another strong year.Worst Case: The calendar catches up with Ramirez.Prediction: Fourth. Like the Reds, they had a window but left it open. 2014 Record: 90-72Rank In Runs Scored: 10thRuns Allowed: FourthManager: Mike MathenyRotation: Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, Michael Wacha, JCarlos Martinez. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img How much of an impact will Joe Maddon have on the Chicago Cubs? L.A. Daily News columnist Mark Whicker breaks down the National League Central.• MORE BASEBALL PREVIEW: National League West team-by-team capsules• MORE BASEBALL PREVIEW: National League East team-by-team capsulesST. LOUIS CARDINALSlast_img read more