Female stars that are driving women’s sports to unprecedented levels

From the Lionesses’ several triumphs in football to Simone Biles winning her world-breaking 8th title, women are certainly dominating the sports world. Here are some game-changing moments for women in sports. 

Lionesses Bringing It Home

England Women's football team celebrating
(Image credit @lionesses via Instagram)

The Lionesses have been a tremendous driving force for women in sports, accomplishing triumph after triumph. Firstly, winning the Women’s Euros in July 2022 the first time an English team has ever won the Euros. Then they went further than ever before in the Women’s 2023 World Cup, reaching the finals and becoming the first England female team to be runners-up. 

Simone Biles Breaks Record

(Image credit @simonebiles via Instagram)

Simone Biles is a seven-time Olympic medalist; she holds the record for the highest number of Olympic medals won by an American gymnast. In August 2023, after a two-year hiatus, Biles returned to the mat for the annual US National Championships and won her eighth record-breaking national all-around title – held previously by Alfred Jochim’s record of seven in 1933. The win makes Biles the oldest woman to win the title at twenty-six. 

Sha’carri Richardson becomes a world champion.

(Image credit @carririchardson via Instagram)

Sha’Carri Richardson is a track and field sensation and one of the fastest women in the world. From college, Sha’carri has been a beast on the track; at only nineteen, she ran 10.75 seconds to break the 100m collegiate record at the NCAA Division I Championships, making her one of the ten fastest women in history. A few years later, in 2021, Richardson broke her record of 10.72 seconds, making her the sixth-fastest female in the world and the fourth-fastest American woman in history. After some time off due to a ban  for cannabis use, Richardson won the US national championship in the women’s 100 meters at the 2023 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In August 2023, Sha’Carri became the world champion in Budapest, winning gold in the 100m sprint with a new championship record and personal best of 10.65 seconds.

Coco Gauff wins the US Open

Coco Gauff showing off the US Open trophy
(Image credit @cocogauff via Instagram)

Coco Gauff is on her way to becoming one of the best female tennis players in the world. She has already beaten the likes of former Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in her Grand Slam singles debut. In 2022, she was ranked world No. 4 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association and world No. 1 in doubles. Gauff won five WTA single tournaments and only turned pro in 2018. In August, she won her first WTA 500 singles title, making her the first teenager to do so. Gauff has just won the US Open final, following in the footsteps of her idol and icon Serena Williams.

Laulauga Tausaga makes history

Laulauga Tausaga on a lap of honour
(Image credit @simplylagi22 via Instagram)

Laulauga Tausaga is a professional discus thrower and is currently one of the world’s greatest. Last year, Tausaga came last in the World Championships but did manage to win a gold medal at the 2022 NACAC Championships. In 2023, Tausaga made history, winning gold at the annual World Athletic Championships, beating her personal best by more than four meters – which the champion deemed “something she didn’t know was possible”. The win makes Tausaga the first ever woman in Team USA history to win a world discus title. 

A’ja Wilson ties the record

A'ja Wilson laying up in Basketball
(Image credit @aja22wilson via Instagram)

A’ja Wilson is a WNBA superstar. Wilson has played basketball since high school–where she won Player of the Year and became a two-time All-American. Wilson accumulated more accolades in her college career, such as SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year twice. She was part of the consensus-first All-American throughout her college career. Wilson was drafted into the WNBA in 2018, won WNBA MVP twice, became a four-time WNBA All-Star, and tied the all-time record for the most points scored in a single WNBA game with fifty-three points. 

Allisen Corpuz wins big

Allisen Corpuz showing off a golf trophy
(Image credit @allysoncorpuz via Instagram)

Allisen Corpuz is an American professional golfer who is currently the world’s best female golfer. In 2008, Corpuz became the youngest qualifier in the US Women’s Amateur Public Links and was featured in The New York Times. In high school, she became a golf prodigy and was runner-up at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship and won the Hawaii State High School Championship. In college, Allisen became a first-team All-American. Despite Corpuz’s early accomplishments, she only went pro in 2021. In July 2023, Corpuz won the US Women’s Open at the iconic Pebble Beach and pocketed the most significant payment in women’s golf history with $2 million. 

Small Victories- so far

While we still may have some way to go regarding the female sporting industry, the ladies mentioned have definitely played a part in changing the narrative. Here are some small victories already accomplished. 

Largest audience ever for a women’s match

This year, a college volleyball match in Nebraska set the women’s sports attendance record as 92,003 fans gathered to watch the five-time NCAA champion Nebraska volleyball team beat Omaha 3-0.

UK Government makes a massive investment into women’s sports

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has launched a new investment scheme designed to bring together rights holders and fuel the growth in women’s sport. The investment is a game-changer for women’s sports as it means the world is finally starting to see the value in the women’s sporting industry- which is, in fact, expected to be valued at more than £1 billion ($1.3 billion) a year by 2030. The programme invites any UK-based women’s sports leagues, teams, competitions or events aiming to attract investment and boost their growth. It will run for a year from Autumn 2023 and will be completely free. Those ​​participating in the programme will receive market insights, make industry contacts and attend networking events. 

Equal pay for women’s matches

In a groundbreaking move for women in cricket, the ECB has announced that England women are to earn the same match fees as the men’s side. The increase will come into effect immediately. The move comes after England women’s thrilling drawn Ashes series against Australia. The change was brought about after it was recommended in the independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC) report, which found widespread discrimination in English and Welsh cricket. 

Expansion of women’s football coverage

Increasingly, growing sports streaming service DAZN has partnered up with Ata Football to expand women’s football coverage. The deal will create a free streaming service and social community to help grow the professional women’s football fandom. For instance, US fans will be able to watch the top women’s leagues in France, Germany and Italy. The acquisition will boost a deeper integration and engagement for the sport, driving women’s football to unprecedented heights. 

How has the female sporting industry changed in terms of betting? 

Many sports fans enjoy making a bet, thereby it follows that increased popularity of a sport will lead to wider demand and availability to make bets on that sport. 

The following is a comparative report produced by the TXODDS data science team showing the relative growth of women’s sports in betting over the last 5 years.

Looking  at the increasing volume of bookmakers, competitions, countries, markets and teams in women’s soccer, tennis, handball, volleyball, basketball, rugby union and ice hockey, women’s sports events coverage grew at 63.4% compared to 31.2% overall for men’s sports. 

data table

2018

2023

As we can see , interest in betting on women’s sports has consistently grown , something that sits side by side with increased fan and commercial interest.

Future of women’s sports

So, what does this mean for the future of women in sports? In 2023, we have seen more growth and development in women’s sports than ever before and, at last, it is starting to be valued at the same level as male sports. Women are beginning to be paid equally, receive more coverage at sporting events, and be commended for their achievements and hard work. I believe we will only see the female sporting industry grow from strength to strength; not only will we see a potential increase in the next generation of young girls who want to pursue sports due to additional coverage and inspirational female sports stars, but also the growth will create more opportunities for them to get into the sports industry at any age.

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