New Podcast “On Her Game” Tells the Stories of Women in Sport
By Sam Squiers
Let me take you back.
Take you back to a time where Rugby League forgot to open the gates for their Australian Women’s match. The Matildas still played internationals in empty stadiums because it was too expensive and too hard to open them up to the public. Basketball refused to let one of their stars of their national side, the Opals, travel with her newborn baby or allow her to stay in the same hotel room. And to a time when this sports journalist had to argue till she was blue in the face then lie and sneak around just to convince sports directors to go out and produce a women’s sports story with no guarantee it would ever go to air or be published.
When was this archaic time in history I talk about?
Well it’s around 2013-2016.
In other words…
Not that long ago.
The pace of change for women’s sports in Australia has been lightning quick, so progressive it’s hard to believe that these were the issues we faced just a few years ago. But this was the state of the sporting landscape which compelled me to launch my own women’s sports specific website “Sportette” in 2013 to tell the stories of women in sport which I found so hard to get published in mainstream media.
It’s why I’m excited to be teaming up with PodcastOne Australia to host “On Her Game”, a podcast devoted to telling the stories of our elite female athletes.
Back then, I really only expected maybe my husband and a few loyal friends to read the articles. So it came as a surprise when a week after launching I had tens of thousands of hits on my site, then came phone calls from National Sporting Organisations, brands and companies asking for meetings and advice on how to better support the women’s game. I even had rival journos telling me they look on my site for story ideas. I wanted Sportette to tell the stories of women in sport and get people talking about the women’s game. I was well on my way to achieving that goal.
Fast forward to 2020 and women’s sport is in mainstream media, every code of sport now has a professional (or semi-professional) elite women’s competition and the women’s game is a part of every sport’s strategic plans. Cricket and netball have set the benchmark for some of the most progressive maternity leave policies ever seen in workplaces (not just sport), crowd attendances at women’s games are breaking all kinds of records (86,174 at the MCG for the T20 World Cup Final was the most incredible sight!) and we no longer have to endure people telling us “Women don’t like sport”, cue eye roll.
In the midst of this fast paced, ever changing sporting landscape, one thing that hasn’t changed is the abundance of incredible stories of women in sport.
And podcasts are a fantastic medium to tell them.
An athlete’s story, their heart and soul, doesn’t have to be condensed to 600 words or cut down to 80 secs. They can tell their story in their own words as well.
It’s raw, so so raw and it’s real. Tears flow from the athletes you least expect, the issues they face go beyond the sporting field
You don’t need someone’s undivided attention to tell them the story and they don’t have to be home at a specific time to see it. They can listen to it on the train, on their run, out doing chores or in the car with the kids.
It’s why I’m excited to be teaming up with PodcastOne Australia to host “On Her Game”, a podcast devoted to telling the stories of our elite female athletes. It’s not a checklist of their sporting achievements, but an intimate conversation about their highs, their lows, challenges, successes and setbacks. It’s raw, so so raw and it’s real. Tears flow from the athletes you least expect, the issues they face go beyond the sporting field and the way they overcome hurdles give us messages and lessons we can all be inspired by and use in our own lives. All sports, all abilities, all issues are covered. I’ve spoken to a diverse range of athletes in the hope every little girl, and boy, can relate and find themselves in these athletes.
So enjoy “On Her Game” and prepare to be inspired, challenged and moved by these incredible women we are lucky enough to witness kicking goals in sport and, more importantly, in life.
Season One has been launched by PodcastOne Australia and includes episodes with Alyssa Healy, Karrie Webb, Tiana Penitani, Georgia Wilson, Ellie Cole, Ellia Green, Carson Pickett, Katie Brennan, Felicity Palmateer