Made By Girls: “Why I think the sports world needs mixed-gender teams”

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On International Day of the Girl, relocated to Blenheim High School. There, a team of brilliant and opinionated girls aged 11 to 16 took over the website to have their say on the issues that matters most to them…  

In honour of the UN’s International Day of the Girl 2018, Stylist is running a Made By Girls takeover, with all of our content online and in a special print issue created by girls aged five to 17.

On 11 October, we went into Blenheim High School in Surrey and handed over control of to a team of girls aged 11 to 16. The girls ran our morning news meeting, pitched and wrote articles, and 11-year-old Scarlett explained that she was very interested in women’s sports.

The only problem? She can’t find any female athletes on TV. Here, she comes up with a solution, as she explains why she wants to see people of all genders playing sports together.

Scarlett says:

made By Girls

Do you think that we should have mixed-gender sports teams? Well, I do.

I love watching football – and I love girl’s football – but I can never find any of their matches on TV. It’s always the men playing. So why don’t we have mixed-gender teams play sport on television?

Some girls have already proved that they can do this: Maia Bouchier was the first girl in her school to play in an all-boys team – even though they said she couldn’t. She fought for the right to play cricket with them until they let her. This is amazing and I am inspired by her bravery.

If you think about it, sportswomen deserve to make more headlines than men. Back in 2015, we did so much better than the boy’s team in the FIFA world cup – we beat Germany, and became the most successful England football side for almost 50 years! The boys couldn’t do that.

In the 2016 Olympics, most of the Team GB athletes who won medals were girls, which is so exiting and inspiring. This proves that we deserve so much more than what we get: we need more air time and respect for what we do, and this will make me and many others really proud and happy to see all of our icons and inspirations.

I would feel absolutely over the moon to see a mixed sports team on TV and I feel like it would show women are finally being respected and treated as equals. I also think that mixed-gender teams will help a lot of girls feel more confident to play sports: if they see other people do it, they will feel like they can do it too. I want people to express themselves and feel happy for what they do.

Who inspires me?

A person who I look up to is Lucy Bronze: she is an amazing footballer and she is a very hardworking player, who has previously played for Sunderland, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as North Carolina.

Here are some facts about her:

• Lucia Roberta Tough Bronze (full name)

• 28 October 1991 (age 26 )

• Current team is Olympique Lyonnais

• Position is defender

• Her number is 2

• When she played for Sunderland, she came third in the FA women’s premier league. 

You can see more of Stylist’s Made By Girls content here.

Image: Jeffrey Lin